Screaming on a Ride to Nowhere: What Roller Coasters Teach Us About Being Human
Roller coasters are one of the most iconic signs of entertainment on the planet. The last decade in particular has witnessed a dramatic global increase in the popularity of the coaster. Research has attempted to account for this explosive international growth in many ways, but relatively little has been considered about the deeper experiential appeal of these seemingly mindless devices. Anderson and Burt address this deficit by examining how the value and significance of coasters extends well beyond escapist diversion: coasters are sites of self-understanding and self-definition as well, presenting patrons with unique opportunities for engaging basic questions that define human personhood. As their analysis demonstrates, the new ubiquity of these sensational constructions stems from more than the predictable forces of adrenaline or profit. In ways that are too often overlooked, these highly constructed experiences – and the seemingly disposable thrills they deliver – also deliver profound lessons about who we are.
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