Google Flash Internet Race Game Crashes Into a Brick Wall

Last Updated Jun 30, 2010 1:29 PM EDT

Google (GOOG) just released a version of its Chrome browser with built-in Adobe (ADBE) Flash support. As a celebration, the Chrome team worked "with a few creative folks" to create a Flash-based game for YouTube. Just one problem ... the game has crashed for many, because the site apparently can't take the onslaught of users.

It's really funny when you think about it. One of the big complaints that Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs and others have made about Flash is instability. Google has used both HTML 5 and Flash support as weapons that target Apple. The argument is, why embrace the Jobs view of what the world should be like if you can get everything by going Google?

Built-in Flash support for Chrome is just another angle in the fight, and it also becomes a way to smack Microsoft (MSFT) Internet Explorer, as well as Mozilla Firefox. Google wants people to use its browser and stay tied to its services. And ads, of course. Something has to pay the rent.

The game is simply marketing. But Google should have learned a lesson with its last April Fool's joke that backfired and turned into a rash of complaints about a new layout for YouTube. This time, Google apparently blogged about the game and then put out a tweet on Twitter. The result was a flood of traffic that apparently brought the game to its knees. I've personally tried it repeatedly in both Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Guess I could try Safari ... oh, maybe not.

As far as PR goes, this has been a bust for both Google and Adobe. Many users are posting comments that the game is "final proof that Flash is useless," as one wrote. You could argue that it's not flash, but Google's hosting, although that's no better for the search company that wants to become synonymous with cloud computing.

After multiple attempts and some waiting, I at least got the game to load part way:

And here's what the game apparently looks like when it's ready to play (the image is from Google's official blog):

I'm sure the game would be fun and challenging ... if you can actually play it. The award for best comment at the time I post this goes to someone going by the name BOBLXII:

So fast, it finished before it started.
Related: Image: Library of Congress, public domain
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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.