Last weekend, I went to King’s Dominion in Doswell, VA, to ride some rollercoasters. Their new featured ride this year is called the Intimidator. I am not a statistics person, but I will tell you that is one intense ride. While I am not an ACE member or anything, I am no wimp when it comes to rollercoasters. My first rollercoaster experience was the Magnum at Cedar Point. It’s always scary when you ride a rollercoaster for the first time because you don’t know what to expect. But this was the scariest experience I have ever had on a coaster because I blacked out in the middle of the ride. Right after the first drop, my vision went black. It only lasted a few seconds, but that was scary. I think I must have stopped breathing.
As always, it makes me think about why people love rollercoasters. What is the fascination? Psychologically, you get the sensation of dying without the risk. It’s like watching a horror movie or sky diving. Your heart beats fast, and you check your safety bar as you are going up to the first ride. You scream your lungs out, but when all is said and done, you return to the drop off point, safe and sound. Is it healthy?
I was watching some fan videos on youtube of other people riding this ride, and there were comments people posted about how they had blacked out, too, and wasn’t that awesome? I don’t know. It is fun to ride a coaster, but there is always that need to raise the bar. If coaster creators are now making rides in which you black out, what will be next?
I remember playing the game when your friend went behind you and put their arms around you and squeezed. You would stop breathing and pass out for a few seconds. It is now called the choking game, and several teenagers have died playing it. I remember reading this article about how the choking game is now becoming the drug of choice for overachiever types. They can’t bear the thought of disappointing their parents by risking drinking alchohol or using drugs, but they need a way to release stress. You get a temporary high from the choking game because you lose oxygen and then get it back.
Anyway, this just made me think. I am not so sure it is good to black out during a ride. And I am not the only one this has happened to. What are your thoughts?