It’s no secret that the articles regarding iRacing here at PRC.net frequently cover a side of the service other outlets aren’t willing to touch with a ten foot pole. From the time the new surface model produced an unexpected performance advantage to those who joined the session at a particular moment, all the way to the awkward attempts of an accomplished iRacer to land a genuine stock car ride based on his virtual success alone, we’ve painted a picture of the service that’s drastically different than the one presented to sim racers via carefully crafted promotional material and other miscellaneous sim racing social media content.
Though I do my best to cover each iRacing-related story in a way that fits the general atmosphere of PRC.net, which generally seeks to uncover some of the bizarre sim racing stories others have tried to suppress, many iRacing members have accused me of taking things too far and instead using the website to harbor a personal vendetta against the company. I think that’s a fair assessment to make, even if it’s not an accurate one. In June of 2015, I was suspended indefinitely from the online racing simulator, and based on what I could deduce from the circumstantial evidence available, I was under the impression my suspension was due largely in part to a highly critical piece published less than twenty four hours earlier. This lead several of our readers to believe each future piece on iRacing was merely a petty act of revenge to try and damage the company’s reputation any way I could. I can assure the readers of PRC that I never opened up Firefox with the explicit intent to destroy a major player in the sim racing industry, but I can indeed say I was unwilling to pull punches with some of the pieces on the table.
Part of the reason I enlisted the help of both Dustin Lengert and Ryan Luza – as well as the other anonymous iRacers willing to supply us with information – was to combat claims from our readers that there was a concrete effort on my part to outright attack the service. I felt bringing in additional individuals with much more real world racing experience than I could ever dream of would help PRC.net gain an extra level of credibility when discussing sensitive sim racing topics, yet regardless of how well their work was received by our readers, I still felt as if something was missing.
Today I’m here to announce that Hell has frozen over, the Edmonton Oilers are finally exhibiting basic traits of a professional hockey team after ten years of mediocrity, and I was able to share a phone conversation with Tony Gardner of iRacing.com earlier this morning. Unfortunately, there aren’t any juicy details to report, and maybe withholding exact details of what we did discuss from the public creates a fun little mystique about the whole thing, but what I can say is that we merely came to understand the roles we both play in the world of sim racing, and smoothed over some of the animosity between the two brands. I’m pretty satisfied with how things were handled, as it serves to directly contradict some of our own stances on iRacing, and gives hope to our readers that things on their end of the community aren’t as bad as we sometimes make them appear to be. If Tony can take the ten minutes out of his day to talk to the biggest asshole in sim racing, and the phone call ends up being one of the better parts of my morning, that’s some major cool points they’ve earned back as a company.
That being said, we do not have any plans to alter the tone or content of our iRacing coverage, as our readers deserve to be made aware of stories the other outlets and message boards refuse to discuss. This private conversation with Tony merely established the fact that while some sim racers run around on Reddit claiming we’re on a virtual crusade against iRacing, behind the scenes they’ve actually met us halfway. Not only does this show that iRacing are learning from past mistakes, they’re actively monitoring alternative outlets such as this one, and taking your comments or submissions seriously.
We haven’t been given fancy press accounts or special access to otherwise off-limits areas of the simulator – as is customary with most publications – but given the content we publish on a daily basis, a line of communication is much more than we could have ever asked for. It’s very rewarding to know that prominent of a developer is taking some of the content posted here seriously, and actively looking into making changes to their product for the better based on articles we have published. With this, I can confirm that PRC.net is no longer that little sim racing outcast blog meant for a very specific type of disgruntled sim racer, but a genuine resource bringing up valid issues within the genre.