The container ship Ever Given recently blocked the Suez Canal for a week. However, recently, a mini-game makes it possible to play as a container ship driver to attempt in turn to cross the Suez Canal while avoiding running the ship aground.
Put yourself in the driver’s shoes
On March 29, 2021, the container ship Ever Given and its 220,000 tonnes were eventually refloated in the Suez Canal. The many ships awaiting their turn expressed their joy by using their horns profusely. It must be said that for nearly a week, Ever Given completely blocked the way. However, the Suez Canal concentrates about 10% of international maritime trade, hence the importance of the incident.
Did you know that driving this kind of machine is very difficult? A few days ago, the US media CNN posted a nice mini-game which is nothing other than a simulation of crossing the Suez Canal on the first 4% of its journey. Thus, everyone can now measure the difficulty experienced by drivers giant container ships.
The rules of the game are very simple, despite being written in English. In black on the screen, the ship to be maneuvered must cross the canal, avoiding its curves and other traps. Not less than four functions allow control of the boat, like the rudder giving the possibility of turning to the left or to the right. We also mention the function giving the possibility of accelerating, reversing and adjusting the speed precisely.
A very difficult game
While the game seems extremely simple, a first observation emerges very quickly. Indeed, inertia is incredibly present, making the maneuver difficult. This appears logical, given the mass of the machine. Anticipating turns is therefore no easy task, so the risk of collision is very high. Moreover, the game stops and resets when a collision occurs. Thus, it is necessary to control speed sparingly and to turn smoothly gradually. In addition, the direction of the wind can help to deviate the boat from its path. According to CNN, the mini-game was developed with the collaboration of Andy Winbow and Yash Gupta, two captains of container ships. They said crossing the canal was a very stressful ordeal requiring a lot of mastery.
Nevertheless, a significant amount of factors were not taken into account in the game, as the media explains. These include the depth of the water, the proximity to the banks as well as the interactions with other boats. Let us also mention the ship’s turning circle or even certain meteorological conditions such as visibility.