Linux gaming lives in the sky, Doom on Virgin America’s console

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Part of my journey to GDC was done on a Virgin America jet and like all flights there is a period of boredom while waiting for the “please turn off electronic devices” light to dim. Usually, I read the plane’s magazine or start a crossword puzzle. Virgin America had an entertainment system to keep me busy during the downtime. Flipping through the menus I found classic Doom. Yes, Doom from iD Software.

 

doomva2.jpg

 

I grabbed the controller from the armrest and sunk into some retro FPS action under the glow of purple cabin lights. Sort of. Doom was a little sluggish and I think it was stuck on one of the easier difficulty levels. The D-pad moved the space marine around, the shoulder buttons were for strafing and one of the colored face buttons fired his pistol. Since I couldn’t save I didn’t get very far, but seeing Doom in a plane entertainment console was a neat find. Now if only they had seat to seat multiplayer…

 

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Browsing though the entire selection of games it looks like Virgin’s system is running some form of Linux. I can’t confirm this, but having Circus Linux as one of their titles suggests it’s a possibility. Other installed games include Penguin Command, Primate Plunge, X-Mahjongg and Gem Drop X. All of these have Linux ports. While in seat games are (mostly) unnecessary for core gamers carrying a handheld, the casual crowd who enjoys Bejeweled are a perfect audience for Virgin’s Entertainment system and perhaps a first taste of gaming on Linux.


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