Ride with VR at Brighton Palace Pier - Amazing new ride mixes fairground fun with VR tech
Your Brighton Indy newspaper is back - bigger, better, and brighter than ever before. Buy the 72-page paper for just £1!
Ride with VR will be launched on Saturday (July 26) at the end of the pier and promises a unique experience which could well be the shape of fairground fun to come...
The Indy was fortunate to get a slice of the action ahead of this weekend’s launch and I had my mind-boggled and body-baffled on this hugely impressive experience.
It’s the creation of Studio Go Go founder director, Brendan Walker, a man with a collection of Boy’s Own occupations including time spent doing goodness knows what with the military, and aeronautical engineering with British Aerospace, before settling on the dream job of designing theme-park rides.
In recent years he’s turned his attention to Virtual Reality and his new baby sends the humble fairground spinning into a fascinating new future/
The ride takes inspiration from a piece of Victorian ingenuity (a historical projected swing illusion) and places the rider in the seat of a classic fairground ride - The Twister, with the all important additional bespoke VR headset.
It’s then synchronised with a lusher than life digital world created by Brendan and his team
As soon the ride begins it’s familiar movements are translated into something far more fabulous.
The Twister doesn’t move vertically but the VR Twister sends you visually and seemingly physically hurtling and spinning into beautifully rendered digital skies and . I’m assuming, leaves you looking like a plum on the outside world as you squirm around for no apparent reason.
The initial rush of the sudden virtual ascent and shimmering visuals and isn’t far short of wondrous and, at least for a few seconds, is probably the closest most of us will get to the mind-bending space travelling blast experienced by the astronaut at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odessey.
It’s easy to be distracted by the gorgeous images and not to take advantage of having a good look around your virtual hyper-coloured playground.
The moving futurescape moves with real time with the movement of the rider’s body in space, and it means you don’t have to just view the (admittedly spectacular) journey from just the one viewpoint.
It’s a remarkable and memorable experience, physically smoother than traditionally white-knuckle rides and open to the limitless backdrops imagined by the designers, and hopefully they’ll be many more to come.
Each VR ride costs £5 with an existing Brighton Palace Pier visitor wristband, or £7 without. It’s accessible to riders aged eight and over, subject to the usual ride restrictions.