Report: Universal Patents ‘Video Game Ride’

As you may already know, Universal Parks & Resorts, specifically the destinations in Florida and California, have completed and are still working on major projects. From the all-new Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the recently opened Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to the brand new Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood and the upcoming Fast & Furious attraction opening in Florida. But that’s not where the developments stop! According to reports, Universal recently patented a “video game ride” where riders can use a wand to earn points and compete with others, which appears to be similar to MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack…but yet completely different. With the word “wand” being mentioned, it creates possibilities for a new Harry Potter or even Fantastic Beasts attraction.

The patent indicates the company is producing ride vehicles “configured to receive respective inputs from one or more riders via the vehicle interface circuitry, and wherein the respective inputs are related to one or more game features of a game environment; and a game controller configured to receive information from the vehicle interface circuitry related to the respective inputs; and provide instructions to modify the game environment based on at least one of the respective inputs.”

The patent also states that the ride itself can adapt to riders and each room will have the capability of reacting to the riders’ actions.

“Video game ride” diagram
"Video game ride" diagram
“Video game ride” diagram

The images above were attached to Universal’s patent. The first image displays a rider interacting with the controller. The second image presents the different rooms, pathways, and entrances for ride vehicles.

These statements directly from the patent provide a detailed description of the possible attraction:
“The interactive game ride may also provide the benefit of a dynamic narrative that changes in response to interest from the game players. For example, if a family with small children is participating in the ride, the game may receive input on the player ages to select appropriate game environments. Alternatively or additionally, the player interactions with the game may also influence the game to provide feedback. In one example, the game is a series of puzzle rooms, and the actions that the players take within each scene or puzzle change the environment and allow different paths to be activated or different physical effects to take place. In certain embodiments, the score input may include input from external sensors that capture player motion, such as wand motion, and provide the motion characteristics as input to a score determination algorithm. If the wand motion is associated with a particular spell that is an effective spell for the game, the player’s score may be updated to indicate a successful ‘freezing spell’ or other spell has been cast.”

Spell? Wand? These two words are very much affiliated with magic, which is also what the entire Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series are associated with. It is also important to note, however, that the idea may be incorporated for a Nintendo themed attraction instead as the patent also mentions steering wheels, joysticks, and custom weapons in addition to wands. Though it is not clear as to whether this idea will come to fruition, if it does, it would be no surprise if it were themed to one of these franchises. But that’s if the patent is actually used as the technology to create such an attraction may not be advanced enough (or at least at this moment), the idea may even just fall through. Either way, from this information, we may be starting to get an idea on the future of rides — they are becoming more advanced, more high-tech, more innovative.

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About the author

John S. Sala

John is an avid theme park fan who has a passion for journalism, photography, videography, digital art, and website designing. His goal is to provide our community with insight tips, news, updates, and anything else to make your vacation to Universal Orlando or Universal Studios Hollywood the best it can be.

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