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New Mario Kart-style augmented reality karting experience gears up for opening this August in London

Ready player one? UK-first Mario Kart-style augmented reality karting experience gears up for opening

  • Chaos Karts intends to make you feel like you’re inside a racing video game 
  • Players will drive physical karts at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour 
  • Imaginative circuits are beamed into the race space by projectors

A UK-first Mario Kart-style augmented reality karting experience is under starter’s orders.  

Opening in London‘s Shoreditch in August, Chaos Karts has been designed to make you feel like you’re inside a racing video game.

Suitable for up to eight players at a time, the ‘game-changer’ experience gives each person their own physical kart, which can be steered and driven like a typical go-kart, at speeds of up to 20mph. 

Every player at Chaos Karts will get their own physical kart, which can be steered and driven like a typical go-kart, at speeds of up to 20mph

That’s where the similarities to standard go-karting end, however.

The first major difference between Chaos Karts and typical go-karting is that there’s no marked-out track. 

The experience takes place inside a mainly empty section of a warehouse and the track is beamed into the space by a complex system of projectors. 

No headsets are needed to see the track. Every player will see the same projection with their own eyes, allowing them to drive around the circuit as they would a physical one. 

No headsets are needed to see the track. Every player will see the same projection with their own eyes, allowing them to drive around the circuit as they would a physical one

No headsets are needed to see the track. Every player will see the same projection with their own eyes, allowing them to drive around the circuit as they would a physical one

Pictured is a cut-away rendering of the Chaos Karts attraction. Teams of up to eight players can compete in the augmented reality racing area to the right of the plan

Pictured is a cut-away rendering of the Chaos Karts attraction. Teams of up to eight players can compete in the augmented reality racing area to the right of the plan

At the start of the experience, teams will collectively decide which track to start on. There are options from Daytona Beach to outer space.  

They can then race their way through a number of different courses together during their session.

As well as racing their team mates, players can earn points as they navigate their way around the tracks. 

One of the ways to do this is by collecting jewels that are projected into the track.  

When players drive over them, sensors in their karts will communicate with sensors in the warehouse to log the points. 

Each kart also comes with a ‘gun’ on the front. 

Unlike typical go-karting, helmets and driving suits are not needed at Chaos Karts. A lack of physical obstacles on the track, and modern anti-collision technology built into the karts mean these safety measures are not needed, say the organisers

Unlike typical go-karting, helmets and driving suits are not needed at Chaos Karts. A lack of physical obstacles on the track, and modern anti-collision technology built into the karts mean these safety measures are not needed, say the organisers 

Chaos Karts will be open to everyone over the age of 13 and a height of 153cm

Chaos Karts will be open to everyone over the age of 13 and a height of 153cm 

The Chaos Kart experience is like a life-action version of Mario Kart (pictured)

The Chaos Kart experience is like a life-action version of Mario Kart (pictured)

Players can use this gun to launch obstacles at other drivers. The controls are physically within the kart, but the obstacles are virtual. Again, the sensors in the room work with the sensors in the karts to project these obstacles in real time into the track.    

Also, unlike typical go-karting, helmets and driving suits are not needed at Chaos Karts. A lack of physical obstacles on the track and modern anti-collision technology built into the karts mean these safety measures are not needed, say the organisers. 

Tom Lionetti-Maguire, the founder of Chaos Karts, said: ‘We are so excited to be launching this brand-new attraction, and especially to be doing so this summer. Creating a real-life version of a videogame has been an obsession for some time and we are delighted to have cracked it. Every time you play it, the adrenaline, the pure elation of it… it still surprises me every time.

‘The gamification of experiences is a phenomenon that is here to stay, and this is the purest distillation of it. It’s a game and an experience, wrapped up in a whole load of silliness, with a sprinkling of nostalgia for good measure. Chaos Karts is a gamer-changer. All this and opening in time for a summer of fun that we so desperately deserve, is frankly a dream come true!’

Chaos Karts will be open to everyone over the age of 13 and a height of 153cm. Tickets, starting at £30 per person, are now on sale. 

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