Steel Meets Virtuality

Brandon Guerrero, Staff Writer

A new breed of roller coaster that incorporates virtual reality was announced by Six Flags sometime early in 2016, but technical rehearsals opened exclusively to pass holders on March 26 and will finally open to the public on April 21.


“I have heard of virtual reality before,” Elijah Barrios, 12, said, “but I can’t imagine it on a roller coaster.”


Numerous people still do not know what a VR roller coaster actually is. VR stands for virtual reality, a piece of technology that has just now started to get popular after many companies have tried and failed to produce an effective means to use it. A VR rollercoaster takes the familiar steel track that we all know, and it hides it behind a completely virtual world. The movement that takes place in the VR reflects that which the rollercoaster is traveling, making the experience even more immersive. Six Flags uses Samsung’s VR to place the rider in numerous different scenes, one of which you can battle aliens.


“I have never been to Six Flags,” Raymundo Hernandez, 12, said. “I don’t think the new roller coaster will be enough to get me to go; I don’t think it’s a great concept.”


Along with the announcement of this new breed of rollercoaster came its fair share of skepticism. Virtual reality is a newer piece of technology, because of this some question if it is ready to be put on a roller coaster. Few were also worried that the graphics of the VR would not be up to par, and that might ruin the experience; however, after some test rides, critics eventually flocked to the Internet to share their new opinion on the ride.


Reviews have been mostly positive so far; some have said that they were “blown away.”


“I love going to Six Flags, and I love playing video games,” Jeovany Sanchez, 12, said. “Six Flags is literally taking both the things I love and combining them; I can’t wait to ride it.”


Taking Six Flags’ first looping roller coaster, Revolution, and combining it with Samsung’s virtual reality is proving to be a success for the thrill capital of the world. This spring, Six Flags will unveil nine new virtual reality coasters in its parks located in Texas, California, Georgia, Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and Montreal.