Friends and I are having an inordinate amount of fun playing a virtual sailing race these last few days. Great little flash app lets armchair sailors race along through the same course and weather as the round the world Volvo Ocean Race. Leg one is from the Mediterranean to Cape Town. As a game it’s fun, it’s social and the sailing characteristics of the boats is even reasonably realistic. As a business model the game is pretty clever too, it greatly helps to promote the real race and it’s sponsors and keep fans engaged (engrossed really) for days/weeks on end as the game progresses. The developers also make money by selling small premium features like specialized sails and such.
The virtual race is just like as pictured above (current race leaders Puma Ocean Racing) but with fewer crashing waves of salt water down your pants. And you don’t have to eat freeze dried food for four months. Unless you really want to try and simulate these aspects at home.
So far there are about 20,000 other virtual sailors playing from around the world (a huge hit considering this is sailing we are talking about). New sailors can join in the race any time, you’ll be dropped in the middle of the pack. Recommended. =)
Flash applications have come a long way baby.
My boat is “Spork”, add me to your in-game buddy list.
link: volvo ocean race game