Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 players are reportedly flocking to the island infamously owned by late billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The recently released flight simulation game generates a digital recreation of the entire planet, using satellite data connected to Microsoft’s Bing Maps.
The privately owned island – referred to by some as “paedophile island” – in Little St James, US Virgin Islands, was used by Epstein as a location for underaged sex trafficking.
Since his arrest and death, Epstein has become the subject of significant media attention and a number of conspiracy theories, which could account for the interest in the island by Flight Simulator players.
The island was raided by the FBI in 2019, in the wake of Epstein’s death while detained in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre.
In a tweet that quickly went viral, journalist @slasher shared an image of several planes – each piloted by different online players – in extremely close proximity on the island.
The image was accompanied with the caption: “People are gathering at Epstein’s island in Microsoft Flight Simulator and solving this case ourselves”
While Epstein’s island is present in Flight Simulator, his villa has not been accurately recreated, which calls into question what exactly players hope to gain by visiting the location.
Flight Simulator has earned rave reviews for its graphics and technical achievements, and has been described by many outlets as the first game of the “next generation”.
While most people have been hugely impressed by the game’s ability to simulate the entire globe, a few discrepancies have been widely shared on social media.
These include the representation of Buckingham Palace as a palace-shaped block of office buildings, which provoked glee from British republicans.