Welcome to Reviews OnLine: BattleTech Center at North Pier, Chicago, Illinois
Archives
Contents
Reviews
News
Archives
 
BattleTech Center
Chicago, Illinois
by Rick Smith (May 1993)
When I decided to write this article about my experiences, I thought it would be interesting and different, but not too difficult. After having experienced this event firsthand, I found this BattleTech event to be quite difficult to describe completely. "You had to be there" to see it and experience it.

The BattleTech Center is located on the upper floor of the North Pier terminal, on the north side of Chicago and consists of 2 sets of 8 cockpits linked to a Macintosh Quadra 700. Each person has their own cockpit which consists of a unique slide over canopy, two color monitors, 16 digital readouts, 12 bar-graph displays, 3 fire buttons, over 100 user buttons, a throttle control, 2 foot pedals and a trigger control joystick. Four computer processors control each cockpit.

This "virtual world" is viewed via a 28" color monitor acting as your windshield. A smaller 13" color monitor, controlled by an Amiga computer, acts as your dashboard "radar" showing the other players relative to yourself, along with your own ground speed and direction. The cockpits are connected via a combination Arcnet/Ethernet network to a host Macintosh computer which sets up the parameters of the craft, type of armament, terrain, time of day, weather conditions and pilot names.

Now for the fun part. The synergy. When you put all this technology and software together you create an addictive interactive virtual sport. You are thrust into a world of fighting Mechs which are 30 foot tall armed mechanical two legged units which you control from your cockpit. With the controls, displays and screens provided you begin to move around and shoot at other Mechs and become part of the action.

After this 10 minute "battle", you obtain a personalized scoring printout which describes the major events during this battle and you can watch a radar view "re-enactment" of the battle, on a computer monitor.

The BattleTech Center is run by Virtual World Entertainment. This company was recently purchased by Tim Disney and he plans to open these centers in more cities and to create more unusual and different "virtual worlds".

As I said before, "You had to be there".

Copyright 1993 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
Article Indexes
  Products Index
  People Index
  Events Index

Product Briefs
Desktop PCs & Servers
  Ergo Thunder Brick 2
Eizo FlexScan Displays
Future Power epower
HP NetServer LXr 8500
Meridian Snap! Server
Digital Cameras
  3Com HomeConnect
Agfa ePhoto 780c
Canon A5 Zoom
Kodak DC265
Minolta 3D 1500
Nikon D1
Olympus C2000
Sharp VN-EX1U MPEG4
Toshiba PDR-M4 & M5
Notebooks & Mobile
  3Com Palm VII
Fosa Mini Notebook
Pionex Elite
Quantex Celeron Laptop
Sharp Actius PC-A250
Sony F250/F290 Notebooks
Talontek MPC-2000
Mobile/Wireless Communications
  3Com 56K GSM Modem
Novatel Merlin Modem
Xircom Ethernet CompactCard
Mobile Software
  Etak Traffic Touch
DataViz Documents To Go
Softbook E-book System
Scanners
  Agfa SnapScan Touch
Visioneer Strobe Pro
Printers
  Brother MP-21 C Portable
Tektronix Phaser 780
Xerox 480cx
Software & Books
  Avid Cinema for Windows
Caere PageKeeper Pro
Corex Area Code Fix
Docent Outliner
Macmillan Office 2K Books
Paragon FoneSync
Symantec pcAnywhere 9.0
Sybari Antigen 5.5
V-Communications AutoSave
Projectors
  InFocus 330
Mitsubishi S120
Internet
  Club Photo
Intelliquis Traffic Builder
NETSilicon NET+Works
Panasite Web Builder
PhotoHighway.com
SuperCalendar.com
Storage
  Calluna 250 Mb PCCard
Castlewood 2.2Gb ORB
Iomega Clik!
Teac CD-W 54E
Batteries & Power
  Duracell Ultra Battery
Electrofuel PowerPad
Eveready Energizer ACCU
Graphics & Video
  Belkin USB Video Bus
Daeyang VR Headset
Kodak/Intel Picture CD
Nogatech USB TV
Number Nine SR9
Peripherals
  Logitech Cordless mouse
Raritan Switchman
Targus USB MiniMouse
 
 
Reviews OnLine Contents About Reviews OnLine Site Index Search Reviews OnLine Site Index Search Reviews OnLine