The new Hero on the Hudson video game provides online gamers with an opportunity to simulate the miraculous crash landing finessed by a real hero, US Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. In case you live under a rock, Captain Sullenberger crash landed US Airways Flight 1549 into the frigid waters of the Hudson River earlier this month. All 155 passengers and the crew survived. As a result of this miraculous event, Captain Sullenberger has been rightfully crowned an American hero.
As can be expected when such an event occurs, the media immediately seized upon the story, and has been milking it for all it’s worth. Thus, it should come as no surprise that a team of online game developers would see fit to exploit the Hero on the Hudson story by creating a game which simulates the crash landing for wannabe hero pilots. The Hero on the Hudson video game, however, has been met with mixed reviews. According to Fox News, one blogger wrote that the game “is about as primitive as you can get,” and that it’s “boring, stupid and offensive.”
The Hero on the Hudson video game is the brainchild of Orb Games Ltd., which is headquartered in, of all places, Kiev, Ukraine. The company was started in 2006 and is headed up by CEO Andriy Sharanevych. When asked in an interview with CNBC what it was that inspired him to create the Hero on the Hudson video game, Sharanevych said, “The event itself was absolutely shocking for the whole world…But shocking in a good way. We were watching a miracle – where each single component of circumstances matched another so well, and at the head of it a masterful performance of pilot Chesley Sullenberger. We just wanted people to understand and not to forget that this is not for granted, so we tried to make a game that would remind everyone about this miraculous event.”
It seems as though Mr. Sharanevych has learned well from the American free enterprise system. With great aplomb, he filters expediency through the lens of altruism. Not that there’s anything horrifically and terribly evil about that. But one can imagine that Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who by all accounts is an enormously principled and humble hero, would roll his eyes at such shenanigans. One could argue that Mr. Sullenberger’s sterling character overshadows any and all attempts to exploit the Hudson River Landing story. To be sure, America needs men like Sully Sullenberger to seep into its collective consciousness. He is worthy of emulation. Gee, do you think Hollywood might make a movie about the Hero of the Hudson? May I suggest casting William H. Macy in the role of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger?
‘Hero of the Hudson Game Simulates Crash Landing, foxnews.com, January 31, 2009
Meet Creator of ‘Hero on the Hudson’ Game, Jim Goldman, cnbc.com, January 31, 2009