Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Lessons I Learned from the Mouse This Week…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 6, 2018

I just got back from a family trip to Happy Mouse City in Florida. Here are some things I learned from the Mouse (although I don’t think he deliberately meant to teach me many of these):

There are two kinds of people who stand in line. There are the kinds that keep the gaps small and keep the line moving. Then there are the kinds that seem to think, “Screw it, I’ve got my spot, the rest of the line can wait for me! It’s not like any of us are getting to the ride any faster. I’ll move forward when I feel like it.” I am very much of the first category most of the time, especially when the sensors at traffic lights interpret a gap as a reason to turn red, even when there’s a mile of traffic waiting to turn left behind said “I don’t feel like it yet” driver. However, after three full days walking many miles in the hot sun, when you are in a shady spot where you can sit or lean for a few seconds, and you are reading a paperback to make the hour+ – long line go faster, I can definitely feel the temptation to exhibit the behavior of #2.

Raw, unadulterated capitalism in even a relatively free market is naturally inclusive, diverse, and inoffensive to the point of being obsequious. The only color that matters is the color of money.

EPCOT stands for “Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow” (or “City Of Tomorrow” – Walt Disney used both). It was supposed to be an actual planned, living city constantly updated with the latest technology for communities, especially with transportation & communication. It was already in early production and arrangements being made with the state when Walt Disney died, and the company quickly nixed the idea of having it be an actual city after his death. They kept the name EPCOT, in part, so that people wouldn’t keep asking them, “So when are you building EPCOT?”

NOBODY knows how to leverage Intellectual Property like The Mouse. This is sometimes to the detriment of the IP, as stuff may get thrown in to strengthen the brand while actually weakening the product.

I must be getting old. I’m to the point now where if it ain’t the original trilogy, Star Wars just doesn’t thrill me. Well, maybe original trilogy + Rogue One. I’m a little disappointed to find I’m surrounded by a wealth of Star Wars stuff, and I’m all, “meh.” It wasn’t like the original series wasn’t crassly commercial from the get-go. I had a bunch of those Kenner action figures as a kid. But now, I’m more like, “Huh… now I know why you have all these masked characters… so you can have anyone put on the costumes and pose for pictures, and probably save money on actor’s fees because you aren’t using their likeness.”

A change of context and a level or two of indirection can do wonders to make a person reset their impression of the value of money. Have it pre-paid and call it “entitlements” and give it a point value instead of a dollar value, surround it with things of similar anchor value, and it’s amazing how something that seemed way overpriced back at home becomes perfectly reasonable at the park. Sadly, I think governments have learned that lesson all too well.

Do not underestimate the vomit capacity of a skinny eight-year-old boy. He can fire off several rounds without a reload. My pity for the poor people in front of him in the line who got caught by the initial spray, and for his poor, panicked mother. And for the kid, to be honest. But HOLY COW…!

I also learned that I’m pretty lucky to be jaded working with simulation, VR, and motion platforms on a regular basis – plus having a pretty awesome gaming rig. So much of the newest, high-techy attractions are based on a motion platform, a pre-rendered video (sometimes in 3D, requiring 3D glasses), and cool theming… which I still thought was pretty neat, but the magic wasn’t really there. On the other hand, the live performances, the really cool sets (especially in the lines), the animals, and of course the good ol’ fashioned roller coasters were lots of fun.

While I may have gained a bit more of my “VR Legs” and I’m *slightly* less susceptible to VR sickness than I used to be, the improvement has not translated to roller coasters as I can tell. Especially going backwards.  Especially on an empty stomach (surprisingly). Fortunately, with the one exception, the coasters were exactly long enough that they were done before I got too uncomfortable, and I was fully recovered within ten or fifteen minutes.

Also, fresh pineapple seems to help with motion sickness.

Spring Break Season. Fear it.


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