Disney Seeks to Patent Live Action Role Play for Theme Parks
With a patent application titled simply ‘Role-Play Simulation Engine,’ Disney Parks may be looking to use its NextGen technology base and cash in on the CosPlay/LARPing — that’s Live Action Role Play — crazes and bring a brand new experience to its theme parks.
The patent allows for guests to participant in ‘long-form role play’ events in which they interact with performers that are employed by the park to engage the guest in the role-playing activities. The performers don’t even need to be humans either. They can be audio animatronics, for example, or something as simple as a video screen that triggers in response to the guest’s arrival.
All of this information — prompts to performers and responses by guests — are fed into an electronic device/system known as the planner, or game master. The planner then makes decisions on how the rest of the role playing session should play out based on how the guest responds to the game thus far.
The idea is to take what already exists, such as the World Showcase Players, to a much larger extreme, allowing the guest to freely roam the park(s) while the session continues and the guest continues to encounter multiple performers, all of whom are kept apprised of the session via the planner device. In addition to session-specific information, the planner will also make available additional information about the guest to the performer to help carry out the performance.
The guest can even make use of special props in their role-play activities which of course can employ RFID or GPS enabled devices that will allow the planner/game master/performers to track a guest’s location throughout the park and respond accordingly.
Role Play Simulation Engine is US patent application #20130066608 and was developed by Asa Kalama, Cory Rouse, Michael Ilardi and Reid Swanson.