Hero On The Hudson, a gameplay-light web game about Captain "Sully" Sullenberger's successful landing of an Airbus A320 on the Hudson River, is just one popular game based on that stuff most commercial video games don't deal with: current events.
The LA Times' Ben Fritz (formerly blogging about games for Variety) recently visited San Francisco-based Addicting Games to learn about how and why the Viacom-owned site makes games about the news.
The site hosts — and sometimes develops — simple web games, sometimes based on current events.
While his story focuses on a new game made for the site about philandering politicians like disgraced South Carolina governor, Mark Sanford, the topic of making games about potentially darker moments also arose.
Would people want to play a game based on an event that was almost a horrific tragedy? The answer has been yes. Since its launch more than five months ago, Hero on the Hudson has been played 4.6 million times, according to the company.
It helped that it's not very hard for players, who take on the role of the pilot, to nail a successful landing. After an initial design that had test players crashing 25 times before avoiding disaster, the AddictingGames staff lessened the difficulty level to keep the focus on the uplifting experience, not the challenge.
"We want these to be some of the easiest games we make," explains Breton.
You can play the Hero on the Hudson game here. More on what Addicting Games strives to do can be found in the LA Times article. These games may not be award-winners, but they are ripped from the headlines.
Web games, ripped from the headlines [LA Times]