May 31, 2007 (11:05 AM EDT)
Everest Game Takes Players Into Thin Air

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

For those who want to know what it's like to climb Mount Everest but don't want to risk hypothermia, pulmonary edema, or lethal falls, a new computer game offers a virtual experience

Big Fish Games announced the launch of Hidden Expedition: Everest. Thursday's launch is a sequel to Hidden Expedition: Titanic, which proved popular last year.

World-renowned mountaineer Ed Viesturs partnered with the company to give players a multimedia experience of a high-altitude expedition. Players race around the world through 40 environments to find hidden objects and solve mysteries. The journey ultimately leads to Mt. Everest.

Players race against other teams to be the first to summit the world's tallest mountain. When they reach certain milestones, they unlock keys to Viesturs' personal photos and videos from his multiple ascents of Everest and other high-altitude mountains. The game also contains new and original voice narrations describing Viesturs' adventures.

"I'm very pleased to be a part of this newest effort from Big Fish Games," Viesturs said in a prepared statement. "It is rewarding to be able to share the experiences I've had throughout my years of climbing and provide an opportunity for fans of Big Fish Games to experience some of the exhilaration and challenges of an actual Everest expedition."

Viesturs is well-known in the mountaineering world for his ascent of the world's 14 tallest mountains without supplemental oxygen. He has summited Everest six times. In 1996, he filmed his team's ascent for the Everest IMAX movie. During the trip, he passed the bodies of Scott Fischer and Rob Hall, who died days before in an epic chronicled in John Krakauer's bestseller Into Thin Air.

Big Fish Games CEO Paul Thelen said he believes the Everest game could "expand the casual games industry by attracting new people who have not yet experienced the fun and excitement found in casual games."