An amusement park in Orlando was forced to push back the roll-out of a new laser shooting gallery game after online backlash.
ICON Park in Orlando was forced to halt its new “Bullseye Blast” game, originally unveiled on Thursday, because of backlash from members of the community, Fox 35 Orlando reported. Users on social media blasted the game as insensitive in the wake of several mass shootings across the country in recent weeks, especially the Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park shootings.
“Some non-guests and community members expressed that they considered the toy shooting device used to be insensitive,” William Wellons, whose public relations firm Wellons Communications represents ICON Park, said in a statement. “The attractions’ industry has many similar games which use similar shooting devices, so that is what we were limited to when exploring the game. However, we believe that a device can and should be designed which does not offend anyone in the community. We look forward to leading this new innovation.”
“Just like all electronic games are improved over time, we will pursue a new design that will deliver the same level of customized fun for guests, in a way that the entire community can embrace,” Wellons added.
The shooting gallery game was added onto the park’s 400-foot tall Ferris Wheel, the ninth-largest Ferris Wheel in the world. For an additional $5.95, riders would be given a laser blaster and instructions to to aim and shoot at targets located on rooftops throughout the park. “As their air-conditioned capsule ascends above Orlando, players scan the rooftops of ICON Park to find 50 strategically pre-selected targets with varying degrees of difficulty,” ICON Park said in an announcement on its website, via Fox 35. To get the highest score possible, players need to hit as many of these as possible with their laser blaster during the 18-minute ride.” That announcement has since been taken down from the park’s website.
Social media users reacted fiercely to the announcement of the game.
“@iconparkorlando do you really think this is a good idea right now?” a Twitter user said in reply to a tweet by LaughingPlace.com, a theme parks blog.
“How did this make it off the drawing board?! Big difference between shooting aliens/robots to practicing our sniper skills in a real-life urban area,” one user wrote.
“This is in poor taste!” Florida State Senator Linda Stewart tweeted.
“Ahh yes, let’s allow tourists to pretend to snipe at a city that was FOREVER scarred and traumatized by an act of gun violence,” one user wrote in reference to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, via Fox 35.
Dennis Speigel, founder and CEO of International Theme Park Services Inc., echoed the sentiments. “Seeing these simulated guns pointed down at you from these heights, from all these cars, just doesn’t seem like the right decision,” Speigel told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s a little bizarre.”
ICON Park was also the same park where a 14-year-old boy tragically fell to his death while riding a drop tower ride at the park. A report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found that the ride had been manually adjusted, which meant the ride’s safety mechanisms failed to operate, which allowed the teen to slip through the safety harness and fall.
“I think ICON Park, what it’s gone through recently with the death of the young man, I would think they would be wanting to demonstrate their concern for safety and their concern for vigilance as it relates to safety in any possible way they could,” Spiegel told the Orlando Sentinel. “I would wonder… is it worth the gamble? Is it worth the negativity and the negative publicity this is generating?… Not all press is good press.”
Originally Posted on: https://www.dailywire.com/news/orlando-amusement-park-forced-to-pause-insensitive-shooting-gallery-game
[By: John Rigolizzo