I stumbled across an article that engineers at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom are researching the ability to give riders an individualized ride based on their fear/boredom levels during the ride. Like the way it would work is that the ride op sees that you’re getting bored on the ride, so they would raise the intensity to make it more exciting! The opposite is true as well, if you’re too scared, the ride gets less intense!
Doesn’t it sound great? A customized ride? Well no…not if they do it that way at least! Let’s be honest, how many ride ops have you seen that take their job with pride? Maybe some of the independent ride operators who travel around with flatrides do, but you’d be damned to find one at Six Flags or a Cedar Fair owned park! Most of them are just kids who do it so they can make enough to buy a new video game or get a custom made muffler that makes their car sound like it’s farting through an aluminum tube! I was like that when I worked at an amusement park as well (actually at first I did it because I liked rides, then once I found out it sucked, I did it for the money…or cents…)
Someone who commented on the article brought up a better solution; instead of the ride op controlling it, have the rider control it! That’s much more appropriate I think. I mean, who knows you better than yourself and the people who listen to your wiretapped conversations?
There’s another good reason to do this as well. Indifferent ride operators aside, what if the sensor malfunctions and the person whose scared shitless registers as being bored? The ride op (the one whose running it correctly and with extreme pride!) would push up the ‘excitement’ slider and give the mislabeled person a heart attack! And then knowing that, what if some psycho ride operator hears about the incident and decides to do it just for kicks?! It would be a total debacle! A complete travesty! Amusement parks would close! People would revolt! Oh the humanity!
The real kicker is that there’s already a ride that applies this concept somewhat. An Italian ride manufacturer named Technical Park has a ride available called Flying Fury where riders can control the ride motions. They can make the car stay in one position, or they can make it flip and spin wildly as it navigates a 360 degree loop; I think riders can even control the speed of the rotating boom for a 100% customized ride experience.
Here’s a Youtube video Flying Fury being tested at LunaPark in Milan, Italy.
So I think the engineers at University of Nottingham should stop this research and look into engineering better and more useful things…like engineering a new harness for Top Spin rides that doesn’t crush your jewels! 🙂