Monday, July 07, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Children

Speaking of Eric #1. I just read that Star Trek: The Experience in the Las Vegas Hilton is closing. Its one of those motion simulator rides, but it has a cool set-up. You stand in line in front of the doors like a normal motion simulator, but then suddenly the lights go off and there is smoke and special effects and you find yourself in the transporter room of the Star Ship Enterprise. A uniformed Star Fleet officer leads everybody to the bridge and then goes into his story about the evil bad guy has traveled back in time to kill a relative of Captain Picard so that Picard will never be born. One of the people in the group is supposed to be said relative.

At the time my friend Eric #1's son is pretty young. He looks up at his dad and says with all sincerity, "Daddy, How are we going to get home?"

That just said it all. For us it was an bit of polish on a silly motion simulator. Hell, Eric Randall* was playing the part of the Star Fleet Officer. For Justin, it was REAL!

Man, what I wouldn't give for a game that captured an an ounce of that type of magic.


Joseph B. Hewitt IV said...

Eric Randall used to be the goofy weather guy on channel 8 in Las Vegas from 1984-1994 and was famous for his orange finger arrow. Although he was very popular, he was fired in favor of a more modest approach.

Westwood hired him for Command & Conquer as the reporter Kane is using to film his propaganda and Kyrandia 3 as the voice of Stewart.

Anonymous said...

Justin was saying it was weird that you remembered that. I, too, wish we could all be that naive again. Hope all is well. Still miss you,

Rita and Gang

Bjorn Bednarek said...

Think way back. The first FPS you ever played. I physically moved to the side every time I strafed to avoid an Imp's fireball (Doom was my first FPS). Did you? That was the WOW factor for me and I've been struggling to find it ever since in games. I was IN that game in a way I've not been for a long time.

Closest I've gotten since is not in games but in TV series and films. I seem to be able to empathise a lot with well written and acted characters, to the point where I wonder what Buffy is up to these days, how Zander is coping and if the Breakfast club guys did end up being friends after that Saturday. No character in games has gotten close to this feeling for me. Except maybe my first WoW toon. But I created him, not a developer.

Joseph B. Hewitt IV said...

There have been times where I have been immersed into the game. My first FPS was Wolfenstien 3D, but it was playing Doom at home alone, in a dark room that got me for a minute.

The first time I crossed the Karana's with my friend Phil in Everquest. We were on our way to meet up with friends in Rivervale. I remember thinking, "My God this game/world is huge!" Then we came across some people fighting the Cyclops on the bridge and I was just amazed that these people were so far away from a city, and that if they died it would them forever to get back to loot their corpses.

But that wasn't the same. It was never even close. I always knew I was sitting at my desk playing a game. There was never a second where I have had such suspension of disbelief to equal what Justin had there on the bridge of the Enterprise.

I told this story to Brad, dancing around in the beginning to make sure he didn't see the set-up coming. I sprung what Justin had said on him out of the blue and he reacted the same way I did. Full on "That is Awesome!"

Oh course I remember it. It was amazing. That is the dream, to get interactive entertainment to the point where can suspend your disbelief to even a fraction of that level.

Years ago Louis described the Alien War attraction he went to in London and the way he described it, it came kinda close. Reading the description now on the wiki it doesn't seem to pack as much punch.

Here is the Wiki and a YouTube video:

MM said...

I was recalling this to my husband the other night...I remember we went there for my birthday or something... Me, Kristina, LeFever, Kurt, you.. we hopped in the little elevator.. we were all a little rowdy anyways.. but the doors open and when we all saw Eric Randall on the bridge, we all screamed, "it's the Eric Randall the weather guy!"