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Jamberoo Fan

Dark Ride Project

Dark Ride Project  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think 'Dark Ride Project' is a good idea?

    • Yes
    • No
  2. 2. If financially feasible, do you think 'Dark Ride Project' should expand to other types of rides before they are closed?

    • Yes
    • No
  3. 3. Could VR experiences of no longer existing rides become a theme park attraction in it's own right?

    • Yes - with a motion simulator/special effects adding to the VR effect
    • Yes - but a motion simulator/special effects is not required at all
    • Yes - regardless if a motion simulator/special effects is needed or not to complete the VR experience
    • No

3 posts in this topic

God bless this man...


Dark Ride Project: Melbourne academic capturing old ghost train rides in virtual reality

In the age of video games and virtual reality (VR), the cheap scares from a rattling old amusement park ghost train ride may seem quaint.

But a Melbourne academic is hoping to preserve the ghost train experience by using the very technology that is hastening its demise.

Deakin University lecturer Joel Zika has studied amusement park ghost train rides for more than a decade and is completing a PhD on the topic.

Over the years he noticed that the amusement parks he was studying were going out of business and the rides were being demolished.

"We're actually losing a lot of these parks and these rides to computer game entertainment," he told 774 ABC Melbourne's Red Symons.

"Every year a park shuts down; there's not money to run them let alone archive them in some way."

Mr Zika decided something needed to be done to save the ghost train experience for future generations. 

He designed a video camera system that captures 360-degree video in low light conditions so the rides can be experienced using a VR headset.

Mr Zika and his Dark Ride Project team have so far filmed six rides in Australia and the United States.

The first ride they captured was the Ghost Train at Melbourne's historic Luna Park which was built in the 1930s and is one of the oldest functioning ghost rides in the world.

Mr Zika is now seeking help from the public and aims to raise $20,000 via a crowdfunding website to continue the project.

He hopes to use the money to travel Europe and the US in order to capture the last ghost trains remaining from the 1900s.

"We're only talking about 18 rides that are left from the classic period," he said.

"Most of the United States [rides], where there were thousands built in the 20th century, don't exist anymore."

He said people who had viewed the rides in VR said the camera system he had built faithfully captured the ghost train experience.

"It grips onto these rides and they shake around, but it holds steady like you would," he said.

"People are saying, 'Oh I remember that, I proposed to my wife on that ride'."

Video embed from article:

This is an article from 1 month ago and coincidentally, donations close in 3 hours.

Hopefully they can one day expand from ghost trains/dark rides and do general theme park rides on the verge of closure...

Too bad the technology wasn't as advance to get dark rides like Eureka Mountain Mine Ride & Bermuda Triangle captured before closure...

Edited by Jamberoo Fan

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