Flight 1549, The Online Game?

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The US Airways flight that on Jan. 15 ended in the Hudson River (and otherwise about as successfully as could be imagined) recently became the instantly popular free online video game, "Hero on the Hudson." The game's hosting site was so visited by the weekend that the game was (at least temporarily) unavailable, Saturday. Players were provided with a scenario -- "Both engines are out. The plane is too low and too slow to make it to the airport. You decide to make emergency landing in the river." The game's makers may be traced to Orbs Games Limited, which appears to have its chief executive based in Kiev, Ukraine. The game was not at all flight simulator-like in its representation of flight dynamics, but did offer players control via left and right arrows. Successful ditchings (in the game) are signaled by passengers stepping out on the wings and a banner that declares you a hero. Players who fail to land the jet successfully watch it sink.

New York's Newsday caught up with some of Flight 1549's survivors to enlighten them about the existence of the game and noted mixed reactions. One passenger laughed, another wasn't sure she was ready yet to see the event cast in such a trivial and light-hearted manner. The game was originally hosted at TastyPlay.com, but visits to the site quickly exceeded the parameters of the account and, last we checked, it was unavailable.