Suez Canal still blocked - at least in Microsoft Flight Simulator

The Ever Given cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week might be on its way again, but it's still not budging from the key trade route in Microsoft Flight Simulator. — by European Space Imaging/dpa

The Ever Given container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week might slowly be on its way again, but it’s still not budging from the key trade route in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

A new mod to the popular game, which allows players to fly planes across a highly accurate version of the planet in real-time weather conditions, has added in the spectacular Suez Canal scene, including the backlog of ships in the canal and the Gulf of Suez.

”Good thing [this] is flight sim and not ship sim otherwise [a] bunch of players would be annoyed as hell, ” tweeted Mat Velloso, technical adviser to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with a video of a plane flying over the game’s version of the jammed cargo ship.

Pilots who fly close enough can even see tug boats struggling to refloat the ship. The (real-world) Panama-flagged ship was successfully unstuck on Monday after days of pulling, towing and digging efforts by salvage teams working around the clock.

However the Ever Given remains ever stuck in the digital world.

A first rudimentary game mod Ever Given appeared on March 27, followed by a new mod with a more complex depiction of the crisis along the Suez Canal the next day.

Microsoft Flight Simulator, which went off the radar in 2009, was rebooted last August to rave reviews over its crisp depiction of global travel featuring real-time aviation events and weather changes.

The game re-created entire cities and landscapes with the help of satellite data from its Bing Maps service, allowing players to fly over their homes and see iconic landmarks with rich detail.

A fast internet connection allows the simulator to load real-time data on the weather and real existing scheduled flights from the internet. Details like these sent several users virtually flying towards Hurricane Laura on the east coast of the US in late August. – dpa

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