VR Turns Roller Coasters Into Alien Dogfight Simulators
Gaming is the driving force of the VR economy, for now. At the same time, every other area of entertainment is pumping their R&D departments with cash and Adderall until they manage to jam this sexy new technology into their own forms of fun. And theme parks are going to jump all over it so they can use it as an excuse to increase ticket prices from astronomical to just a picture of Mickey Mouse giving you the finger.
Six Flags was the first theme park to show off the new way tourists would be vomiting all over each other’s neon fanny packs when they unveiled their partnership with Samsung to create a virtual reality experience combined with preexisting roller coasters. You simply strap in and put on a VR headset, which projects a movie that syncs with the movements of the roller coaster, because apparently 55 mph upside-down loop-the-loops on a runaway train car were boring us jaded bastards to tears.
The New Revolution VR-coaster is basically an on-rails first-person shooter like House Of The Dead or Time Crisis. Riders dive and careen through a city being invaded by aliens. By tapping on the side of their VR goggles they can shoot the aliens out of the sky, or, more likely, punch themselves in the head with the force of a roller coaster as they try. And while you no longer have to worry about communal plastic gun handles giving you chlamydia, be prepared for what we can only assume will be a huge pink-eye outbreak.
Meanwhile, Acer is working on a VR helmet specifically for theme parks and arcades, and there’s a company based in Utah that runs a VR laser-tag park called “The Void” that’s going to have an outpost in Times Square by this summer. And that’s just the beginning. Since by all accounts this new generation of VR is legit, the tech is probably destined to quickly become a staple of overpriced roadside tourist traps run by sketchy guys with NASCAR-branded sunglasses.