I wanted to share a blog by an acquaintance of mine, David Deal, VP of Marketing at iCrossing. A few days ago, he posted about a new co-creative experience in Epcot at Disney World, wherein you the guest develop a virtual thrill ride, then board a contraption that simulates that ride. It's similar to the old Body Wars and Star Tours rides at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, respectively, but this time YOU create the ride, and YOU experience the creation -- including twists, dives and loops. Yeah, that's right: loops.
The thing is, you have to follow the principles of engineering in order for your virtual ride to work. Remember, this is Epcot, not Universal, so there's an educational component here. The introduction to the experience educates the guest about the physics involved with engineering a ride like this. While creating your ride, the program prompts you to make corrections where necessary to allow your car to finish all those twists and loops you've created. Raytheon sponsors the experience, presumably to show kids how awesome and fun science and mathematics are.
Pretty cool, right? I remember taking the Star Tours ride a loooooong time ago, and hearing about how the engineers had to be very very careful to align the motions of the pod with the visuals on the screen to (a) make it look real; and (b) keep people from getting (too) sick. Technology has accelerated to the point where hundreds of these experiences are now created each day (no word on how common motion-sickness accidents are).