US Airways pilot Chesley Sullenberger has been widely labeled a hero for safely landing a passenger jet in the Hudson River last month. Now, as such things are wont to happen in Internet land, a free online game called Hero of the Hudson lets you emulate his success by pulling off an emergency landing of your own.
"Both engines are out," reads the promo on AddictingGames, where as of Sunday night, a few days after the title went online, it apparently had been played more than 1.4 million times. "The plane is too low and too slow to make it to the airport. The fate of the passengers is in your hands."
You use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to gain control of the falling plane before it hits the water from an altitude of 1,500 feet. The game is about as primitive as they come, but on my first try, I nonetheless failed (hey, I was multitasking), landing the plane tail-first in the water and then watching it sink. "The plane crashed!" I was reminded, feeling slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing, even if my passengers were just virtual. The second time, I landed it successfully, to applause. Then I got back to work.
In the last several days the game has been called everything from catchy and fun to "boring, stupid, and offensive." I'd imagine those who survived the trauma might agree with that latter assessment. … Read more