Japanese Students Construct VR Roller Coaster Attraction Inside Classroom

Someone’s getting an A+ in woodshop…

What was the most impressive project you ever made while attending junior high? I myself am particularly proud of an A+ four-cheese quesadilla I made while struggling through home economics. 

As impressive as that quessadilla was, and it was impressive, it pales in comparison to a project conducted by a group of third-year Japanese students which involved the careful planning and construction of a functioning roller coaster accompanied by a custom-made virtual reality experience.

Developed as part of Takanawa Junior High School’s annual bunkasai, or “culture festival,” the group began with the construction of a basic roller coaster ride out of standard wood materials. However, it was only after fellow classmate @pansan1029 got involved that the project really took.

According to SoraNews24, the talented developer-in-training utilized a version of Minecraft modified with ExRollerCoaster, as well as a improved lighting and shadow effects. The motions shown in the VR experience mimic the same movements featured in the physical ride.

The 20-second attraction, while not a AAA experience by any means, is still an impressive first-outing for a team consisting entirely of 14 and 15-year old’s. Never-the-less, @pansan1029 was disappointed by their efforts, pointing out the multiple difficulties regarding the synchronization of the visuals and physical movements. The self-critical creator original wanted to build the experience in the Unity game engine and include touch sensor technology for better synchronization. However, limited resources and a short time frame forced him to make several sacrifices. 

Normally, students involved in Japan’s nationwide culture festival will design and operate temporary cafes, conduct live concerts, create haunted houses, and provide a variety of other relatively traditional experiences. With their ambitious VR roller coaster attraction, the students of Tokyo Minato Ward are tease the future of Japanese entertainment and serve as an example of Japan’s ever-changing culture. 

Image Credit: Next Shark / Twitter user @ansan1029

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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