Last week, Dutch amusement park Walibi Holland confirmed the closure of their VR-experience NeuroGen. After three seasons of operation, the ride is removed to make room for a new experience. In NeuroGen, riders were individially invited into the special clinic of an infamous doctor, where they underwent a special treatment enabled by a VR-headset. The unique experience was developed by the park itself and was based on their experience with the Halloween experience ‘The Clinic’ which already seasonally used the same building.
In The Clinic, visitors were already invited individually to a room mimicking a medical clinic. The same environment was used for NeuroGen: this time, visitors were invited for a special treatment, designed to increase the brain capacity. After entering the clinic, the visitor was guided towards a room where they could choose between two types of treatment: the waterfall or the beach. After this decision, the visitor would be led to another room, equiped with a special chair and a VR headset.
After the visitor was installed at the chair with the VR headset on, the video would start with images of a calming beach or waterfall. Shortly afterwards, something would go wrong and visitors would be shown the memories of a random person, in chronological order from childhood to young adult. The experience was meant to feel like a mind trip and contained scenes about for example bullying, alcohol and drug use, eventually culminating in a car crash. The seat contained motion that was synced to the VR film.
NeuroGen opened for the 2017 season. “The ride is a combination of 3D content, filmed in real-life, VR, binaural headphone and a special seat equiped with various effects,” as park director Masha Taminiau noted at the ride’s opening. “The ride fits perfectly the image we have in mind for Walibi Holland.” After three years of operation, the ride needed to remain closed for the 2020 and 2021 season due to Covid regulations. Initially, the park announced that NeuroGen would reopen as soon as the measures would allow them to. Last week however the park confirmed the closure of the ride, which will be replaced by something new which is to be announced later.