Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Virtual yacht race

I'm still wasting time—along with over a hundred thousand other individuals—in a fascinating Internet game: a virtual version of the Vendée Globe yacht race. At the end of my recent article entitled Everest of sailing [display], I indicated that the game's server had given up the ghost. In fact, that minor incident didn't last for long, and nobody seemed to get hurt.

Over the last day or so, I've been lucky, with relatively good winds. When I woke up this morning, my boat named Gamone was located down near Dakar in Senegal, in about the 7000th position.

Meanwhile, the leading boat, Sauvageon, was already down at the level of Guinea-Bissau. At any particular moment, on your computer screen, the software only displays a few randomly-selected yachts... seen as tiny blobs of color. Between Gamone and Sauvageon in the above display, there are some 7000 virtual yachts! To the north of my Gamone, all the way up to France, the rest of the fleet is strung out in an armada of some 93 thousand virtual vessels.

I'm very impressed by the quality of the software behind this web game, which has been developed by a French company named Many Players. [Click here to visit their website.] If I understand correctly, the virtual regatta software is based upon Flash, which happens to be the powerful tool I've been using for years in my personal websites.

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