While the new Second Ave subway is still eons away from completion, the MTA announced Thursday it's welcoming regular New Yorkers to get in the operator seat for trains in the brand new tunnels -- well, at least via a simulator, or what's probably the closest thing anyone will get to experiencing the line any time soon.
The interactive game -- unveiled at the MTA's Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (1628 Second Ave) on the Upper East Side -- lets visitors cruise through the tunnels as virtual train operators, even making stops at three of the stations at 96th St, 86th St, and 72nd St, with the goal of getting the best time. However, speeding, blowing through red lights, overshooting platforms and various other screw-ups will add time to your score. There's also a "passenger mood indicator" built into the dashboard, and riders will get pissed when you stop and accelerate abruptly. Why isn't this a feature on real trains?
It appears, though, the game won't include simulations of overcrowding, passengers holding the doors open, delays because of train traffic and signal problems, the "Showtime" guys, or other various real-life plagues of our real-life subway system. Oh, you also won't have to deal with objects falling onto the tracks, rats, fires, fistfights, and the timeless odor of human excrement. In other words, it'll be nothing like a normal subway experience. But that's probably a good thing.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and thinks they should turn this into a full-scale video game. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.