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Every Life is a Story
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Going to Space!


People always say “I never win anything” when it comes to contests and drawings and all of those things. I used to say the same thing. I never won drawings or raffles or contests for things, at least until this year. This year the cosmic karma has turned around and I have won a recipe contest where I got a gift card to my favorite store, and THREE drawings where I won a Santa key, tickets to a chocolate event, and last but not least, a chance to go into space! Okay, not really actually space, but to a very cool and amazing event. Iworlds is the new exhibit at the fabulous Thanksgiving Point. It is a space shuttle simulator that lets a group of sixteen crew members have a science fiction adventure similar to Star Trek. The package I won was the Ultimate Party Adventure. My name was announced on television on Good Things Utah, and I won dinner and a two hour mission for sixteen people. WOW.

The hardest part of winning something amazing like this is deciding who to take, and who to leave out. It was a difficult decision. I ended up taking almost everyone in our regular gaming group, and my girls. We met in the lobby of the Museum of Ancient Life, and were led to their party room, all decorated like a jungle. Dinner was catered by Wallaby’s- an Australian grill in Lindon. We had pulled pork, rice and beans, salad, bread and butter, mint brownies and punch. The food was wonderful, and everyone had more than enough to eat.

At the end of the hour, we were met by someone from iWorlds, and led out to what was the trailer of a semi truck. The trailer was filled with all of the décor and equipment needed to take our group on a space mission. We met first in one section of the trailer where we selected jobs, and had a briefing on the background of the world we were part of, and what our mission was going to be. There were sixteen different jobs, each with their own responsibilities. There were jobs for damage control, engines, weapons, communications, navigation, scanners, transport, ambassador and security. My husband ended up as Captain of the ship, and I was his first mate. My daughters were chosen to be security- a good place for the two teens on the mission, we thought.

Our mission was complex, but the young woman doing our briefing did a great job explaining it quickly. We were a crew on a ship working for a democratic union of planets. We were assigned the task of traveling to the planet of New Earth which had been taken over by a dictator. We had information from spies on the planet that would convince another planet alliance to join with us in removing the dictator from power. We had to go to the planet, stay outside the cloaked satellites that would destroy us if we reached their range of detection. Then we had to wait for a shuttle from the planet bringing our spies, and a briefcase with the information. We would then get the information to the other alliance, then go down to New Earth to evacuate our embassy there, and return home. After the briefing, we were given uniforms to wear, and had to go into the “transporter” which was basically a tube with a revolving door. The door opened to reveal the “ship”.

The ship had computer stations for all of the crew members, and a large viewing screen in the center. As captain and first mate, my husband and I were led to a couple of very wobbly bar stools as our posts. We were all given ipods and headphones with a recording to play that trained us on our different positions. The Captain’s job was to make the final decisions and run the ship. My job as first mate was to make sure the Captain’s orders were followed, maintain order on the bridge, and to notify our home planet of our progress every ten minutes. I had a clipboard, a pen, and forms to fill out with those messages. I was to give those messages to our long range communications officer who then typed in the message to send back to command. Everyone else had their own set of instructions.

When the training was done, the mission began. It started with some simple introductions from the engine room, and the voice of the computer (played by iWorld employees who were watching from another room). We quickly got our ship to the planet, and waited outside of the satellite field. It didn’t take two minutes before things started going wrong. Our rendezvous ship was captured, the documents taken, our position was suddenly VERY bad without those documents. The adventure got crazy with us navigating through the satellite field, falsifying passcodes to get down to the planet, transporting refugees onto the ship, and escaping before enemy ships blew us up. Not to mention the intruders that were on board the ship, trying to shoot us from the transporter, the constant repairs from weapons damage, messages flying, and other endless things to scan, adjust, and navigate. Two hours flew by with every one of our sixteen person crew busy with something critical to the success of the mission- and their own little quests that kept them busy even when their job was not in the spotlight at that moment.

In the end, we successfully completed all requirements to win the mission. We had two “strikes” which were times when we needed to back up and start again. These were both for navigating the satellites- a very difficult job. This adventure used an average of three strikes, which made us better than most others playing this mission. We cheered our success, regretfully folded up our uniforms, gathered our things, and left the trailer. We stood outside in the fading light talking over the mission, all of us buzzing from the experience. We had so much fun! All of us said that we would love to come again, and that the group rate would absolutely be worth the cost. With reluctance, we said goodbye and started to drift off toward our various cars to go home.

I can’t say I never win anything anymore. This was such an amazing experience. I felt so very spoiled. All I can say is thank you Thanksgiving Point, and iWorlds for providing such a spectacular opportunity for us. Now, I can do my part, and tell all of you to try this! Schedule an event! Get your family and friends together and run a mission! This is a blast! I can’t wait to try this again!

1 Comments:

At August 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM , Anonymous Jeff said...

Nice post which The hardest part of winning something amazing like this is deciding who to take, and who to leave out. It was a difficult decision. I ended up taking almost everyone in our regular gaming group, and my girls. We met in the lobby of the Museum of Ancient Life, and were led to their party room, all decorated like a jungle. Dinner was catered by Wallaby’s- an Australian grill in Lindon. Thanks a lot for posting this article.

 

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