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China’s first VR theme park opens in Guizhou

Updated: Apr 30,2018 4:48 PM     CGTN

If you are tired of the traditional amusement parks, maybe you can come to Southwest China’s Guizhou province to experience something different, as the country’s first virtual reality (VR) theme park has opened here.

The Oriental Science Fiction Valley, located on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Guiyang, greeted its first guests on April 29, the first day of the annual May Day holiday. An assortment of innovative attractions, such as the VR rollercoaster, brings them a unique experience.

“This rollercoaster is so exciting. I have never had such an experience. I feel I was almost thrown out and I am totally stunned,” local boy Huang Jiachen told CGTN after riding the VR rollercoaster, the largest in China.

With futuristic designs, the 15 themed pavilions in this massive complex try to bring curious gamers into the future, fly them into outer space or allow them to live alongside aliens. Most of the rides are done by wearing VR goggles.

Chen Jianli, CEO of the Oriental Shuanglong Science Fiction Theme Park Management Company, said they decided to build this park after realizing that the current theme park market is experiencing very fierce homogeneous competition.

“We are trying to provide consumers with a completely different experience by combining modern technologies such as VR and AR with traditional recreational facilities. We stress the feeling brought about by the sci-fi elements,” Chen said.

One of the most impressive items here is the 53-meter-tall steel-structured robot statue. One of its arms can be used as the platform for a bungee jump. If you want to enjoy the landmark scenery of Guizhou, then just get onto a motorized cart and put on the VR headset.

Once considered to be one of the most economically and technologically disadvantaged provinces in China, Guizhou is now trying to transform itself into a hub for innovative tech. This park can be seen as an ambitious move toward the goal.

With efforts over the past few years, Guizhou is now taking the lead in the country’s big data development. In February, US tech giant Apple transferred its Chinese iCloud services here. Chen said the park will not only reshape Guizhou’s tourism industry, but it will also help people learn more about an important emerging industry.

China is determined to step up the development of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality. A report released by the CCID, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said China’s VR market is expected to exceed 55 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) by 2020.

With an investment of more than 3 billion yuan ($470 million), Chen said he is confident the park can turn in some healthy profit. He also hopes with more pavilions to be opened later, it can bring more fun and sci-fi knowledge to the younger generation — the future technological innovators.