If you’re going to be doing something in public or for the public, learn to read the room. Take note of the crowd’s attitude, and ensure they’re staying with you. For example, making jokes during a eulogy might be a bad idea, unless the family and supporters wanted to remember a loved one with laughter.. One Florida amusement park seems to not understand this philosophy, because they’ve adding a target shooting game involving actual places in Orlando.
ICON Park near Orlando, Florida has already been in the news this year for tragic reasons. 14-year old Tyre Sampson died after falling from a tower drop ride in March. Despite that tragedy, the park has seen fit to add laser guns to their 400 foot tall Ferris Wheel ride.
We’ll try to break this down since this could work in theory, but not with this implementations.
The gist of this game is to take advantage of the height of the Ferris Wheel and the view it offers of Orlando. Amusement park officials plan to place 50 infrared targets around Orlando that players can shoot for points. This would be an optional additional ride to the game itself. It seems harmless enough at face value. But again, it’s time to read the room.
Getting a high vantage point and aiming at targets placed around a real life city is more than a little bit off-putting. The counter argument of course is that “it’s just a game,” and no one is getting hurt. Shooting galleries have been a staple of amusement parks for years, including Disneyland. Whether it be the game where you have to try and shoot BBs at a piece of paper to remove the star, or a gallery where you have to hit the ducks as they pass by you, target shooting can be fun.
But is this really the time or place to implement something like this? Admittedly this could be a good idea of elements of it were changed. Take a “Pokémon Snap” approach to things and instead of guns- use cameras with a zoom. You could earn points the same way, based on how close your infrared beam is to the target. Instead of points for a bullseye, you earn points for a well-centered photo. Heck, if you even want to charge MORE for it, give guests an option to keep some of the photos of the Orlando skyline or certain landmarks. There you go ICON Park, problem solved and you just made more money.
Guns, lasers, etc., however you want to look at them have been a source of entertainment in games for decades. The problem here is not the guns themselves, but the implementation of them in a real world setting. Sometimes we just need to take a step back and look at things from an external perspective. ICON Park doesn’t need another wave of bad publicity and the world could definitely use more “Pokémon Snap” scoring systems. Just a thought.
The park has since opted to pause the attraction’s shooting function.
“Some non-guests and community members expressed that they considered the toy shooting device used to be insensitive,” a statement said. “The attractions industry has many similar games which use similar shooting devices, so that is what we were limited to when exploring the game. However, we believe that a device can and should be designed which does not offend anyone in the community.”