As anyone who watched Twitch Plays Pokémon will know, handing the controller over to Twitch chat can be chaotic at best, platform-breaking at worst. Yet somewhat surprisingly, the hordes managed to fly a plane in Microsoft Flight Sim - even completing some risky manoeuvres and successfully landing the aircraft.
The experiment was hosted by Rami Ismail, co-founder of Vlambeer, who set up the stream allowing Twitch chat members to change the speed, heading and target altitude of a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner (amongst other functions). Surprisingly, Twitch chat was able to take off from Košice International Airport, fly around for about an hour, perform a barrel roll and then return to the Slovakian airport where the flight began. Not bad considering the plane had dozens of pilots.
As ever with Twitch chat, however, there was a fair amount of squabbling and sabotage - including one mischievous chat member who kept trying to cut the engines on takeoff. Ismail noted there was a rare moment of unity when the clouds opened up, giving everyone the chance to have a look at the scenery.
Sometimes Twitch chat does nice flight moments. Everyone stopped fighting over whether to crash or fly the airplane for 30 seconds when we broke through these clouds. pic.twitter.com/uhnL4InqQD— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) September 13, 2020
We're trying to take off and someone keeps killing the engines pic.twitter.com/2Ojaxy8KYk— theGunrun (@theGunrun) September 13, 2020
While the feat is certainly impressive, I'm still not sure I'd want Twitch chat flying my plane in real life. There's enough turbulence without the need for barrel rolls.