Like Desert Bus, But Even More Soul Sucking
November 8, 2019 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Airplane Mode is an upcoming game from AMC (yes, the channel) in which the player gets to simulate a six hour transatlantic flight in real time. Not as the pilot, mind you. As a passenger in a window seat in economy.

The game will randomly simulate various atmospheric effects such as crying babies, intermittent wifi, weather, turbulence, etc - to make the flight feel as realistic as possible.
posted by NoxAeternum (51 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
*gasp* Airplane Mode?? What is it??
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:42 PM on November 8 [11 favorites]


On a row with two empty seats? I'm skeptical the developers have ever been on an airplane.
posted by kovacs at 2:43 PM on November 8 [32 favorites]


Only six hours?
posted by ardgedee at 2:44 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


The obvious thing to do is spend an entire six-hour flight playing this on your laptop.
posted by theodolite at 2:48 PM on November 8 [41 favorites]


Oh! You get a window seat! Look at you fancy pants!
posted by wotsac at 2:52 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


To me this is all the nice things about a flight:
* minimal responsibilities
* seeing the earth from above
* having time to watch or read things

Without all the bad things about flights:
* Biological discomfort to altitude
* Waiting to use the bathroom
* Cramped quarters
* Being able to stop at any time
* Waiting in traffic, security, and boarding

So I think it's interesting to compare to Desert Bus, which avoids the heat and cramped cab but is otherwise a much less pleasant experience where you actively have to keep it on the road and can't stop playing for more than a few moments for 8 hours.
posted by JauntyFedora at 2:58 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


See also: The six-hour video of a flight on BLAH Airlines from 2014.
posted by endquote at 3:01 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


On a row with two empty seats? I'm skeptical the developers have ever been on an airplane.

Yeah, I was going to say, that's the game's element of escapist fantasy.
posted by Naberius at 3:03 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


Is it VR-compatible?
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:04 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Does it simulate me getting plastered at high altitude? No? Then what's it for?
posted by Chuffy at 3:06 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Surely they can't be serious!
posted by phooky at 3:09 PM on November 8 [30 favorites]


In real time? Shades of On Exactitude in Science.
posted by eirias at 3:09 PM on November 8


How do they simulate the child behind you who keeps kicking your seat throughout the entire flight?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:18 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Weird to begin with artillery (Méliès doing Verne; 1812).
posted by doctornemo at 3:20 PM on November 8


I'd love to see this start off with stark realism (modulo JauntyFedora), then progressively become more surreal.
posted by doctornemo at 3:22 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


On a row with two empty seats? I'm skeptical the developers have ever been on an airplane.

Eh, the last couple transatlantic flights I took were well over 60% empty. Obviously varies widely by airline / route / season.
posted by thefoxgod at 3:33 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Do you get to cry watching Love Actually even though you know better?
posted by Beardman at 3:37 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


This a joke, right? Aren’t games supposed to transport you to a more appealing imaginary world and not rub your nose in the more distressing real one? Are they hoping to have the worst selling game of all time?
posted by hwestiii at 3:45 PM on November 8


Not playing unless there’s a gremlin on the wing.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:46 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


On a row with two empty seats?

I've been so lucky on several occasions, including a transatlantic flight which was mostly empty for reasons I don't understand.

Too bad I can't actually sleep on a plane.
posted by swr at 3:54 PM on November 8


Desert Airbus
posted by glonous keming at 3:56 PM on November 8 [17 favorites]


Without all the bad things about flights:
* Biological discomfort to altitude
* Waiting to use the bathroom
* Cramped quarters
* Being able to stop at any time
* Waiting in traffic, security, and boarding


Don't forget the periodic or constant wafts of bathroom odors, the stomach-launching turbulence, and the carrier-pilot slam landings. Since it's a window seat, you're also spared being stepped on, bashed by the armored refreshment cart, and the extended closeup of some guy's crotch while he inventories his carry-on bag in the overhead bin you were supposed to be able to put yours in.

I have dim memories of enjoying air travel on 707s. Them were the days.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:12 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Do you get to cry watching Love Actually even though you know better?

They're only showing gladiator movies.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:14 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


Note: Desert Bus for Hope charity internet-a-thon is going on right now.
www.desertbus.org.
posted by PennD at 4:24 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Good luck! We're all counting on you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:24 PM on November 8 [12 favorites]


There’s probably already a Langoliers mod for this.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:27 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Note: Desert Bus for Hope charity internet-a-thon is going on right now.

Apparently, there will be a run of Airplane Mode on the 12th as part of the event.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:35 PM on November 8


This is a leaked level from Shenmue 3.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:37 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


"...bound for Retch-a-vik." Where the hell is that?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:39 PM on November 8


The capital of Iceland.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:42 PM on November 8


Does it simulate the experience of having to step over rowmates in the dark during an overnight flight to queue up for the lav with twenty other people who are actively trying to avoid talking to each other and all of whom are stealing glances past the curtain into business class where the restrooms are obviously empty? I don't think it's doing an adequate job of simulating the miseries of air travel if that's left out.
posted by ardgedee at 5:07 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


why is this so fascinating to me, I WANT TO PLAY IT
posted by weed donkey at 6:28 PM on November 8


Oh I figured it out, I think it's because I hate flights and like horror games
posted by weed donkey at 6:29 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


They're only showing gladiator movies.

And Zero Hour!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:44 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I deeply understand everyone who was freaking out on that thread about the unpacking game now.

(One of the few things I don't miss about living overseas was the 2x year minimum transatlantic flight kill m e now)
posted by kalimac at 7:09 PM on November 8


Who else has watched the entire 5 1/2 hours of Virgin's advert Blah Airlines

Anyone?? Just me??
posted by jcruelty at 8:05 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing there's some secret tie-in with an existing show, or new show. Maybe at some point someone will be infected and become a zombie (maybe this is how the virus spread?*) Walking Dead: UK ... Zombie Brexit

Orrrr they're goning to start playing LOST reruns lol

*I've only seen up to like season 5 of the original walking dead, so I really don't know what happened
posted by littlesq at 9:04 PM on November 8


Will it also make my knees actively hurt, and provide very little wiggle room for my legs in general?
Yes?

I AM ALL IN
posted by not_on_display at 9:55 PM on November 8


I'd play this if it was an MMO RPG. Where you can talk to your seatmate about Jesus, or glare at the guy constantly coughing behind you. Kick the seat in front of you. Befriend or antagonize the flight attendant. Go on quests for getting booze for free, or an extra bag of peanuts. QTE's which involve a beverage cart and turbulence.

Maybe if there was an anxiety bar which you could reduce via drinking, bathroom trips, and movies on your laptop. But drinking makes you angrier. Too many drinks and you end up discovering which passenger is really the US Air Marshall. Too many movies on your laptop and the battery dies. Which makes you angrier. And bathroom lines which also make you angrier. But if you manage to balance everything and stay calm, you level up. Which allows you to dismiss some of the debuffs, or get some extra cash to buy happy pills which prevent your anxiety from spiking.

Play enough times and you get frequent flier miles. Which lets you spend the next flight in First Class. Anxiety bar fills very slowly in First Class, at least initially. But then your seatmate turns out to be a sentient MAGA hat who owns a car dealership in Topeka. Who really wants to talk about God, Trump and the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado. The flight attendant tells you he's out of cookies and he's cutting you off from scotch because you're clearly unstable & inebriated. Anxiety spikes and the game is on.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:36 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


I have had it with thIs motherfucking goose on this motherfucking plane!!!!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:46 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


Oh, thank god it's not the Logan Paul movie.
posted by hyperbolic at 11:12 PM on November 8


Maybe if there was an anxiety bar which you could reduce via drinking, bathroom trips, and movies on your laptop. But drinking makes you angrier. Too many drinks and you end up discovering which passenger is really the US Air Marshall.

Build it and we will come.
posted by bendy at 12:01 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


How about the discomfiting feeling that my personal amount of air travel is sufficient to be directly contributing to the rapid warming of our planet, and that the excuse “but I had to travel for work” just won’t cut it in the sauna future to come?

Maybe that’s just me.
posted by nat at 12:48 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


The video is blocked in my country (Australia). Probably because any Australian would regard only 6 hours to get anywhere as a doddle. Bring it on.
posted by drnick at 1:42 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


The capital of Iceland.

It was a comment on the seemingly-off pronunciation. ;)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:45 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


My fastest Atlantic crossing was 4h45m, so it's not impossible.

Many years ago, departure from BOS on an Aer Lingus Boeing 777—they tend to cruise fast—and we picked up about 110mph of tail wind crossing the water off Newfoundland. Landed in Shannon, which is the closest European airport to North America (unless you count Reykjavik).

Spoiler: I then had 45 minutes on the ground before the 30 minute hop to Dublin—the 777 had to get up to altitude and circle before it could land again—then change flights and another 90 minutes to get to my home airport. And as it was a red-eye, in economy, I got zero shut-eye that night.

(If you're going to go trans-Atlantic from west to east, longer is actually better.)
posted by cstross at 4:40 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


Maybe if there was an anxiety bar which you could reduce via drinking, bathroom trips, and movies on your laptop. But drinking makes you angrier. Too many drinks and you end up discovering which passenger is really the US Air Marshall. Too many movies on your laptop and the battery dies. Which makes you angrier. And bathroom lines which also make you angrier. But if you manage to balance everything and stay calm, you level up.

Hello, there, Douglas Adams! We miss you here in our unaccountably weird future. How is the weather back there in 1986? I'm afraid only some of your ideas can be viably translated into the text adventure medium.
posted by jackbishop at 5:28 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Anyone?? Just me??

Not just you.

I watched it all. Then I sat down with little ms. flabdablet and both of us watched it again. Then we started on Bergen to Oslo by train, but she fell asleep an hour and a half in.
posted by flabdablet at 7:02 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I watched most of Blah (I think?). If you have the patience, it gets sorta funny. You could just skip ahead, but you might miss the best parts.
posted by ovvl at 4:24 PM on November 9


I have had it with thIs motherfucking goose on this motherfucking plane!!!!

There's no need to be crude. If you don't like Mother Goose, just say so.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:24 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I genuinely can't tell whether this is parody, or a real game, or a real game that is parody. Things that make the world weirder are usually good.
posted by eotvos at 11:58 AM on November 10


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