Six Flags to add virtual reality to nine roller coasters this season

Posted Thursday, March 3, 2016 10:19 AM | Contributed by slithernoggin

Already highly regarded for its arsenal of kick-ass thrill machines, Six Flags will up the ante by repurposing nine of its roller coasters as ride systems for what could prove to be delirious, out-of-this-world VR experiences. It will take immersive storytelling to new heights – literally.

Read more from USA Today.

Friday, March 4, 2016 6:14 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

She said growth name, not drag name.


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Friday, March 4, 2016 6:52 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Seems relatively similar to the 3D glasses the parks hand out and make you drop in the bin on the way out for every 3D attraction.

The worst, to me, is the stank that hangs on an OTSR on a warm, humid summer day.

I don't like the 3D glasses but can deal with them. They're fairly loose fitting and supposedly get put through a machine between use. This is more like a communal diving mask or ski goggles tha are wiped down by a crew member between use. I'm sure this will still be a hit with the general public and there's way more disgusting things I come in contact with in the park regularly. It's just a personal comfort level thing and a deal breaker for me. Totally agree on damp, onion soup scented OSTs on a hot day being brutal but at least they're not strapped to my face.

Also, the virtual experience on an actual coaster doesn't make sense nor is really appealing to me. The hygiene ick factor will prevent me from giving it a try.

*shudder*

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 2:17 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Yeah. I just do not "get" the virtual experience business. It's like riding Kali River Rapids wearing a VR headset to experience a ride on California Screamin', or going to a Cher concert wearing a VR headset to experience a Psy concert. If that actual physical experience is so uninteresting, why go about putting lipstick on a pig?

This old man rant ends in 3.... 2..... 1......


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 5:35 AM
Rick_UK's avatar

^ It's not though, is it. You can ride both the Kali River Rapids and California Screamin' if you're willing to handover your money and get in line. Many people will have the option to ride Revolution, not so many will have the option to ride in a space shuttle or a fighter jet.

This is only the same as something like Star Tours, but it's going to use the latest video technology in terms of how the film is presented to you and more than that, it'll utilise ride hardware far more suited to providing you with the motions displayed in the video.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 9:08 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Why waste a perfectly good roller coaster ride by using it as a motion simulator?


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 11:59 AM
Rick_UK's avatar

You're still riding the roller coaster. If you don't want to wear the headset, don't wear it.

I don't understand the fuss. If I ride it and it sucks, fair enough, but I refuse to be one of those enthusiasts who hates or loves something before I've had a go.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 1:08 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I don't hate it or love it. I just really don't understand the why of it. It makes as little sense to me as riding Pirates of the Caribbean while taking a VR ride on Tower of Terror.

Perhaps what I can't grasp is how the VR experience enhances the coaster ride. If I want to VR-fight aliens in space, I'll get in the motion simulator at the mall.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 5:30 PM

I think we're all missing the greater question in all of this...

New ride credit? Y/N

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Saturday, March 5, 2016 6:32 PM

The idea of riding a coaster with bulky VR goggles strapped to my face doesn't sound that appealing, but I still would be willing to try it before completely writing it off.

As others have mentioned, the ride selection seems pretty random. It seems in most cases VR is being used as a way to enhance an already popular ride. I suppose this is just a way to be able to market a new experience without a huge investment, sort of like the Bizarro conversions in 2009. The other selected rides are older and less popular, and I think the hope is that this will bring increased ridership. The problem here is that the older rides they chose tend to be a bit rough. I don't see the jarring transitions of Ninja or Steamin Demon matching up well with the VR image.

One question I have about the technology is does it account for the difference between the front and back of the train? Does the one black box send the same picture to everyone? Superman: the Ride has long enough trains that during the bunny hops the front car could be at the bottom of the valley while the rear car is at the apex experiencing airtime.

Last edited by Mr. Six, Saturday, March 5, 2016 6:33 PM
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Saturday, March 5, 2016 8:24 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

If it counts as a new credit, a lot of the opposition will suddenly dry up. ;)


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, March 6, 2016 12:57 AM
bjames's avatar

That Shockwave video was really cool. I don't see how they're gonna make it work on short rides like Steamin Demon though.....all the coaster snobs in this thread seem to hate the idea though so there's that.....

Last edited by bjames, Sunday, March 6, 2016 12:59 AM

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Sunday, March 6, 2016 1:35 AM
LostKause's avatar

Mr. Six, I read that there will be very little problem with motion sickness, and that is usually caused when visuals do not match up with the physical movement. I strongly suspect that riders will not be watching a single broadcasted video, rather each tablet will be displaying a computer simulation moving in virtual space. I also strongly suspect that the accelerometer in the tablet that they are using controls the images orientation.

That's the only way I think this will work well enough for them to attempt bringing it to the public.


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Monday, March 7, 2016 12:23 PM

Despite what the experts say about nausea and so forth, I'm still concerned that this will cause more guest illnesses. I have a vomit phobia as it is and always wait for the front of the ride so if someone gets sick, it goes backwards. I personally would not sit next to or behind someone wearing the vr goggles.

On a side note, I did mess around with the Samsung Gear VR goggles and plan to get the Rift on it's launch date. The technology is a lot more interesting than a 3dtv as a previous member mentioned. Microsoft is also in the process of developing Augmented Reality which should be pretty neat as well.


Dave Barber

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Monday, March 7, 2016 12:56 PM

I recommend you not ride the Rotor. The vomit in there can look like spin art.

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Monday, March 7, 2016 1:48 PM

I rode one years ago at Kennywood before my phobia developed. I think what started it is when a kid puked behind my cousin and I on the Wipeout. I never got back on that ride after that and I now avoid most flats were you sit close to strangers. It sucks because I'm missing out on rides I'd probably like (i.e. Maxair, Sky Hawk, etc).


Dave Barber

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Monday, March 7, 2016 3:09 PM

I don't see the use for the VR system at all since it would take away from the thrill of riding a coaster. Also it will lead to being more disorientated than ever before. Watching a something that goes against what you are feeling while you are riding the ride. IF people what to ride a 3d simiualtion then they should do so on one but not on a rollercoaster.

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Monday, March 7, 2016 3:49 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

And that. I like to ride roller coasters. When I program "roller coaster" and "VR experience" into the ASD computer in my brain, it responds with "does not compute."

It's a great option for the parks to offer. I'm sure plenty of people will choose it. I'll pass. :-)


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, March 7, 2016 6:36 PM
Vater's avatar

slithernoggin said:

  • I remain perplexed by the notion of wearing a VR headset whilst riding a roller coaster. It's turning a roller coaster into a motion simulator. In my very old man opinion.
  • I just can't wrap my brain around riding a roller coaster while watching something else. To me, it's like driving a car while wearing a VR headset that's showing me a "reality" of attacking the Death Star.
  • Yeah. I just do not "get" the virtual experience business. It's like riding Kali River Rapids wearing a VR headset to experience a ride on California Screamin', or going to a Cher concert wearing a VR headset to experience a Psy concert. If that actual physical experience is so uninteresting, why go about putting lipstick on a pig?
  • Why waste a perfectly good roller coaster ride by using it as a motion simulator?
  • I don't hate it or love it. I just really don't understand the why of it. It makes as little sense to me as riding Pirates of the Caribbean while taking a VR ride on Tower of Terror.
  • Perhaps what I can't grasp is how the VR experience enhances the coaster ride. If I want to VR-fight aliens in space, I'll get in the motion simulator at the mall.
  • I like to ride roller coasters. When I program "roller coaster" and "VR experience" into the ASD computer in my brain, it responds with "does not compute."
  • I'll pass. :-)

Come on with the vague generalities. Just so I'm absolutely clear here, you're totally on board with the idea of a virtual reality experience on a coaster, right?

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Monday, March 7, 2016 6:51 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Sorry. I do tend to fuss over things that don't make sense to my non-neurotypical brain. Call me the "T-R of V-R." :-)


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, March 7, 2016 7:45 PM
Thabto's avatar

I'm ASD, but I don't think it's totally stupid. But I'm more into tech stuff, so that probably factors into it. This is a gimmick, but I'll withhold judgment until I've tried it, which will probably be never since I don't plan on going to any SF parks in the near future. If Cedar Point or Kings Island offers something like this, I'll probably try it.


Brian

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