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.

Monday, March 7, 2016 8:03 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'll declare that this doesn't interest me at all. And the ick factor of putting something on my face that was on another sweaty face does not help.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, March 7, 2016 8:14 PM
rollergator's avatar

^But they're paying someone minimum wage to clean them after each use.

There's like at least three or four jokes in there...


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Monday, March 7, 2016 11:03 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Thabto said:

... I'm more into tech stuff, ...

And I suppose that's part of why I don't get it. I'm not into tech stuff.

I don't "get" video games, for example.

Back in the day I had a roommate who loved to play Legend of Zelda. I'd watch him play and just did not understand why it was interesting.

Some years ago a friend gave me Roller Coaster Tycoon for Christmas, which would seem to be a great present; but I found it annoying. I could draw a map of an amusement park faster than I could build one in RCT, and all that really interested me was the layout of the park.


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

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Monday, March 7, 2016 11:55 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

slithernoggin said:

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." :-)

So just ride Mid-Shockwave

A few of my thoughts:

1) I will try it once, given the opportunity. We will not have SF passes this year, so... What's the update on which CF coasters are getting VR?

2: Rough, painful Arrow headbanging will really take me out of the moment. I expect it when I'm riding an Arrow coaster, not when I'm flying a plane. (the example shown in the video was airplane-ish)

C) Will I be able to do a quick tear-off mid ride if I find myself getting nauseous?

4 - The Google Cardboard Valravn app makes me nauseous. (But it makes me look like a Stormtrooper, so at least there's that.)

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Tuesday, March 8, 2016 7:18 PM
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 6:24 PM

David Barber said:

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.

First time I've heard someone give THAT reason for wanting the front seat!


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 7:53 PM
LostKause's avatar

I've never heard of having a phobia of vomit, but I have a phobia of mayonnaise, so to each his own. :)


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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 7:54 PM
rollergator's avatar

Virtual skeeball is too realistic!


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 8:28 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

LostKause said:
I've never heard of having a phobia of vomit, but I have a phobia of mayonnaise, so to each his own. :)

Dammit Travis. I swear you get more and more weird every day. :-)

Plus, you put ketchup on Skyline coneys, so...


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 8:47 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Ketchup on a Skyline Coney? That, my dear LK, is a step too far.:-)


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

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016 9:15 PM
OhioStater's avatar

LostKause said:

I've never heard of having a phobia of vomit, but I have a phobia of mayonnaise, so to each his own. :)

3 years ago I treated a young man whose phobia of roller coasters revolved around a fear of vomiting and 1) choking on his own vomit, and 2) spraying said vomit over other riders causing great shame. Something like this...

In the words of Tangina..."This Chunk, is clean..."

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016 12:35 AM
LostKause's avatar

I remember asking for the ketchup for my fries, or something. I think you assumed it was for my hot dogs. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And I'm pretty much over the whole mayo thing now, but ask me about it when I have time to get into it. It gets way crazier.

And glitter.

And dolls.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2016 9:45 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I distinctly remember you squirting that mess all over the cheesy goodness that is a coney. :)

I guess I can sort of let it go now, and pretend you wanted it for your fries. hahaha


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016 11:25 PM
LostKause's avatar

Well, it was a hundred years ago. I'm a totally different person now.

When eating a corn dog, I put a squirt of mustard on one side of my plate, and a squirt of ketchup on the other side. I alternate between condiments with each bite.


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Thursday, March 10, 2016 5:34 PM

Check out what the VR experience will be like.


Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sfneonline

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Thursday, March 10, 2016 10:43 PM
Vater's avatar

I'm sorry, but that looks like it might be pretty badass.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016 10:55 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I'm sorry, but having watched that, I still don't get it.

It's using a roller coaster as a motion simulator, and at that, one where the VR experience has to be tied to the physical structure of the coaster, and why not install a motion simulator and exploit the freedom of design that offers?

When I've got a days-long sweat-drenched headset strapped to my head, I can't see the track, I can't see the train, I can't see the surrounding environment....

Reminder: I'm the T-R of V-R.


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

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Thursday, March 10, 2016 11:20 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

slithernoggin said:

It's using a roller coaster as a motion simulator, and at that, one where the VR experience has to be tied to the physical structure of the coaster, and why not install a motion simulator and exploit the freedom of design that offers?

Imagine how cool it is when a motion simulator makes you think you're falling 100 feet at 50 miles per hour in some futuristic virtual vehicle.

It's likely much cooler to actually fall 100 feet at 50 miles per hour in some futuristic virtual vehicle.

Look at it this way. Why simulate the physics of it along with the virtual world when you can actually feel those real physical forces in any imaginable virtual scenario? It's sort of the best of both worlds.

And that I think is going to be the key to this whole thing - the difference between trying to convince your brain you're moving and feel those sensations and you actually moving. It's a motion simulator that actually delivers those virtual forces.


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Friday, March 11, 2016 1:09 AM

Really? Where's the realism? Everyone knows one and a half minutes is hardly long enough to save the world.

Actually, I might be slowly coming around about this concept. Now that I've seen the demo at SFOG I can better understand what the experience will actually be like, minus any barf-inducing sensations of course. I can also see how for some (not you, Slith...) this will transcend the typical roller coaster experience, especially for those that are already familiar with a long-established ride. At least I can better accept and understand how parks feel this is added value, and visitors still have their choice of how to experience their coaster. However, am I wrong to now wonder why anyone in their right mind would offer such a thing and not make it an up charge? Seems ripe for it- crowds would be a little better under control and it would be revenue for the park. I hope it's not a nightmare for Six Flags and their customers with everyone on earth lining up to try it. Plus it seems like it might be an expensive thing to produce and install.

Which leads me to ask how this thing works anyway? We've all seen the list of rides that will offer the experience, and of those one can be quite different from another. So... apparently someone sits somewhere and designs individual little movies that perfectly synch with the physical sensations of each individual ride? That include user-controlled 360 vision as well as target practice? Then there's the equipment and whatever has to happen on site to get it running. Once again, unless it's a lot easier or simpler than I imagine, it seems like an expensive and cumbersome process. And the park is stuck with a simulation that is so specific to the ride it's useless elsewhere.

It also makes me wonder what this experience, if it catches on, will do to the Spidermans and Harry Potters of the world? On those rides we're tricked into thinking we're part of a free fall from high up somewhere, and it's pretty effective. Now that riders can be treated to the illusion of falling while actually falling (<what?) will that make the typical motion simulators, as we know them, passé? Or at least less exciting?

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Friday, March 11, 2016 9:06 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

It's likely much cooler to actually fall 100 feet at 50 miles per hour in some futuristic virtual vehicle.

But if I can't see that I'm actually falling, what difference does it make whether I'm actually or virtually falling?

Your friend,

T-R of V-R


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

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Friday, March 11, 2016 9:13 AM

slithernoggin said:

Lord Gonchar said:

It's likely much cooler to actually fall 100 feet at 50 miles per hour in some futuristic virtual vehicle.

But if I can't see that I'm actually falling, what difference does it make whether I'm actually or virtually falling?

Your friend,

T-R of V-R

Because even though the sensation in a traditional motion simulator is similar, it is a different feeling than actually falling. Its just a step better than traditional simulation. You get the actual, physical feelings/effects of the motion instead of the similar, but not real sensations of the simulated motion. Take Spiderman, for example. The simulated sensation of falling in that final sequence is really convincing, but if you ride Hulk/Dragons/Doom immediately before or after and compare the sensations of virtual versus actual falling, they're different.

Edit to add: To address the "if I can't see" portion: Close your eyes on a ride. You still know that you're falling because of the physical forces. Close your eyes in the final sequence of Spiderman and you will probably just feel like you're moving sideways/straight ahead because the sensation is caused mostly by the visual cues on the screen tricking our minds into thinking we're falling (I've never closed my eyes, so now I'll probably head over there one night just to test my theory out). In this case, even though we can't see that we're falling in the real world it doesn't matter, because the physical forces alone tell us that we are. This doesn't rely on the screen for providing sensations, it's just a way to match the physical sensations with a different visual experience.

Last edited by maXairMike, Friday, March 11, 2016 9:28 AM

Original BlueStreak64

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