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October 30, 2005

Trip to media caliphate

R: We took the kids to SoCal for their fall break. It was supposed to be vacation, but I can't ever really pull my head out of work enough to totally vacate. I found myself working in observational, comparative and critical mode.

We engaged in a series of "immersive" experiences while we were there, and I'm still trying to sort out what I saw. In short order, we went to the San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios, Legoland, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown San Diego. We also spent considerable amount of time immersed in I-5 traffic.

We saw a lot in a short amount of time:

  • San Diego Zoo
    • Koala Bears!
    • Pandas
    • one fruit bat
    • bus tour
  • Universal Studios
    • "City Walk"
    • Studio Tour
      • Jaws
      • Earthquake
      • King Kong
      • Dino de Laurentis Parking Space
      • George Clooney in WWII film
      • Desperate Housewives' Wysteria Lane
      • Steven Speilberg's War of the Worlds plane crash
      • Whoville set from Grinch
    • bad pizza lunch
    • Animal Planet Live
    • Special Effects stage show
    • Shreck 4D
    • Back To The Future
    • Waterworld Stunt Show
  • Legoland California
    • Fire Engines!
    • electric cars not on rails!
    • human-powered monorail
    • human powered sky-tower
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San San Diego (MCASD)
    • Barbara Kruger video installation
    • Gift Shop!

and it made me think about immersion and interaction experiences, and play experiences. For instance: Legoland's new claw versus Universal's Back to the Future ride. I saw the former as participatory public theater versus the latter's closed controlled environments. Also, Back to the future made me nauseous with motion sickness. It must have been amazing when it first opened. Now it seems a bit lackluster. The robotic claw at Legoland still has the benefit of novelty. But it also allows the riders to be participants, selecting their level of agitation. The participatory aspect is amplified because the queue wraps around the claws (there are six robot arms) and so the participants too are performers for those who will soon reciprocate.

I'll add to this post as more thoughts sift out.

Posted by SWEAT at October 30, 2005 11:01 AM


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