4-D Video Gaming

How would it be to actually be inside a video game? Rather than sitting watching the game on a video display, what if you could actually hold the weapon you were firing, ride inside your vehicle, and shoot at actual targets. Even better yet, you could earn a score and use it for bragging rights.


A few years ago, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters appeared first at Walt Disney World and then at Disneyland. As both a Disney and video gaming aficionado, I found this attraction a lot of fun. The strategy guide author in me of course had to learn which shapes where the highest scoring targets—the triangles and diamonds are worth a lot more than the squares and circles. And if they target is lit up, you earn even more points. This game is literally a rail shooter. You can turn your spaceship around in order to aim at the targets which are located on aliens, robots, and other objects. What makes it even cooler is that you can email a photo of yourself in the attraction along with your score to your home account, and then forward it to your friends to show what an awesome space range you are. I must admit, my “top ten” score photo stayed as the background on my computer for several months.


If that were not enough, Disney has done it again. Today, Toy Story Mania opens at Disney’s California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. Like Astro Blasters, this is another shooting gallery attraction. However, this time, you don 3-D glasses and shoot at targets with a spring-loaded weapon which makes it feel like you are actually firing a carnival type game launcher. While you have 3-D graphics, what does the 4-D mean? As a Prima Games author, I have taken it upon myself to find out for you. I am going on assignment to discover the fourth dimension. Watch for my blog next week when I return to report.


If you have had the opportunity to experience this Disney attraction, please let me know what you thought about it.


2 Responses to “4-D Video Gaming”

  1. 1 Kate
    June 17, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Michael, I love your post! 🙂

    What I think also adds an intriguing element to the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster experience is that people at their home computers can play the game at the same time, and affect the “real life” game in progress at the park (and vice versa). (Go to http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/buzzOnline/index?name=BuzzOnlineDownloadPage&bhcp=1 if you want to play from home.)

    I can’t wait to hear what you think of Toy Story Mania. Thanks for taking on the difficult assignment to find out what it’s like for us. 😉

  2. 2 r3dstar
    June 17, 2008 at 11:29 am

    I gotta admit, that is one of my favorite rides now at the Disney theme parks. Leslie still contends that she beat my score, but as you pointed out, I have the pictures to prove it. Can’t wait to hear about the new ride though…

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