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Roller Coasters Join Forces with Virtual Reality To Maximize Your Excitement/Nausea

It’s been a while since roller coaster technology came up with a new “trend,” but the addition of virtual reality goggles just might qualify. Tomorrow, three Six Flags theme parks will be unleashing a new Superman-themed roller coaster in which participants also wear VR headsets and watch as Superman saves them from certain death.

In real life, they’re just riding a roller coaster, but in the VR version, they’ll be on a train that goes off the rails thanks to Lex Luthor’s shenanigans. Sounds particularly terrifying, since it’ll “feel” more real than just watching the VR experience without also being on a literal roller coaster. It’ll also feel more harrowing than just riding the roller coaster without the goggles on. It also sounds like it might be way more vomit-inducing, since roller coasters and virtual reality are already known for inducing motion sickness individually. Once you combine the two … who knows what could happen?

I hope everybody’s ready for this trend to start sweeping across roller coasters everywhere, though, because the Washington Post reports that the new Superman ride isn’t the only one that’s expected to receive an update this summer. Last March, Theme Park Review did a preview of North America’s first ever virtual reality roller coaster ride at Six Flags Over Georgia. That ride was called The New Revolution, and this new Superman ride appears to be another update on the same concept, with somewhat better-looking animation. Based on the fact that there are already two brand new roller coasters implementing this technology, it doesn’t seem like much of a jump to assume that more will follow.

For the new Superman ride, attendees can decide whether or not they want to wear the VR headsets as they ride the roller coaster. You can ride like an old school roller coaster purist, if you want to. Or you could strap into the wave of the future! Just take some Meclizine beforehand, okay?

(via CBR)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).