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Nearly 100 people are flying an airplane together in Microsoft Flight Simulator

They’re even trying tricks

A plane in Microsoft Flight Simulator Image: Asobo Studio/Microsoft Corporation
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

A bunch of Twitch viewers are flying a single airplane in Microsoft Flight Simulator, using a command setup on indie developer Rami Ismail’s Twitch page. A few days ago, the players successfully landed an airplane. (The only safe landing, Ismail said on stream.)

Now, they’ve started to do tricks — like the barrel roll.

Using a Twitch bot controlled by chat commands, viewers on Ismail’s channel can fly an airplane. Commands adjust pitch, throttle, and brakes, among other important controls. Players have to use these commands to do everything from take off and land. As you can expect, it’s chaotic. Chat is trying to take off by toggling off the parking break, which, of course, is the same command to turn it on. With players relentlessly spamming the command, the plane just remains at a standstill.

With nearly 100 people attempting to fly the airplane at the time of writing, it’s chaotic. There’s a lot of crashing. But there are also miracles.

On Tuesday, Twitch Plays Microsoft Flight Simulator participants were able to complete a full barrel roll and a few other unique stunts. It’s definitely stressful to watch. The chat is pure chaos. There are people actually trying to fly the plane, and there are also people that are trolling. It’s a miracle that that any plane was able to take off, let alone land and do tricks.

And that’s what makes it so incredible to watch, just like the other iterations of Twitch Plays. Together, Twitch users have played plenty of games together, from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But the game that started it all was Pokémon Red. Twitch Plays Pokémon kicked off in 2014, allowing viewers to do everything in the game through chat commands, like capturing, battling, and naming Pokémon.

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