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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Towers removed from simulator
Gamers can fly over New York, Washington DC and other cities
Gamers can fly over New York, Washington DC and other cities
Microsoft will remove the twin towers of the World Trade Center from a new version of its flight simulator computer game, the company has confirmed.

In Flight Simulator 2002, players can fly an aircraft around a number of different cities, including New York.

To leave the twin towers in the game would not be "appropriate", a Microsoft spokeswoman said.


It doesn't glorify the crash at all and it never has done

Microsoft spokeswoman
The release of the game is to be postponed in some countries but not in the UK.

The two towers were reduced to rubble after two passenger airlines were flown into them as part of an apparent suicide attack.

"Microsoft have said that they feel that they want to do what's appropriate," the spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

"After a lot of careful consideration, they have chosen to remove the World Trade Center towers."

Gamers will still be able to fly over New York, along with Washington DC and other cities including Boston, London, Los Angeles and Paris.

A range of aircraft, including commercial jets such as the Boeing 747, are available to fly in the simulator.

Duke Nukem
Duke Nukem: Violent scenes being reviewed
But it is not possible to "destroy" buildings by crashing into them.

If a plane hits a building, the plane "sticks" in the building but neither is demolished or explodes.

"It doesn't glorify the crash at all and it never has done," the spokeswoman said.

Microsoft earlier denied that terrorists could use the game to learn to fly.

The game, for the PC, will still be on sale in the UK from 29 October.

It replaces an earlier version that had a picture of Concorde on the front - released before Concorde crashed in Paris in July 2000.

Messages

Many other gaming companies will also review their content to avoid offence in the wake of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

Majestic, a popular interactive game that draws players into an X-Files-like conspiracy, has been withdrawn because messages from characters could echo those left by attack victims.

Another game, in which players try to defend the World Trade Center from kamikaze pilots, has also been taken off shelves.

Arush Entertainment is also revising a forthcoming game that features renowned video game character Duke Nukem on the rampage in New York.

See also:

14 Sep 01 | New Media
Gaming industry to review content
13 Sep 01 | Sci/Tech
How hard is it to fly an airliner?
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