To put it mildly, I’m not the biggest roller coaster fan, so when I pulled the short straw to try out a new VR ride at Brighton Palace Pier, I was filled with a feeling of dread.
Roller coasters can be scary at the best of times, but the added element of VR left me both anxious and unsure of what to expect.
The end of the pier is home to many rides that fill me with dread – none more than the Booster, a ride that spins and catapults you 130 feet into the air. Suffice to say that it is not for me …
However, the ride in question was the Twister, a classic and traditional fairground ride, marking its 80th anniversary this year. Not necessarily that scary compared to roller coasters knocking you over, but the speed at which it can tip you over can get you stuck in your seat and make you nauseous.
Before getting on I spoke with the inventor, who describes himself as a “thrill engineer,” Brendan Walker, who told me that this particular ride was a world first, with virtual reality content. synchronized in real time with the movement of the rider’s body. Awesome stuff, I thought, even though my stomach was worried about what that might mean in practice.
I was strapped to my seat and given a helmet that was chained in place. I started to prepare for the worst.
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At first I could see a dark cityscape with what looked like eyes. My feelings of uneasiness and apprehension started to grow, did those eyes belong to characters who would jump on the ride? Brendan had said he expected something colorful – was all of this planned for something different?
But at the start of the ride, the shadows dissolved into a range of vivid colors and I soon found myself catapulted through a world of geometric shapes, zooming through rings of different hues.
I was constantly looking around, up and down to take in the scenery – marveled at the passing objects as I was transported into this world of blocks and cylinders. It was like something out of an 80s music video.
The ride slowed down and all the nausea I was having quickly subsided without incident. I felt relieved and in awe of how this traditional ride had been transformed in this way.
I will definitely try this one again – but it might take a little longer before I try the Booster!
If you want to try Ride with VR for yourself, it opens to the public this Saturday, July 24.
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This notice was published: 2021-07-21 16:00:00