Body Battles is a perfect example of the synergy between education and entertainment. The over-the-top interactive exhibit at Nashville’s Adventure Science Center, with its dark ride-style interactive technology and animatronics is, by any measure, a hit. The theme of the game is the battle between our bodies and the illnesses and infections that attack them. Two groups—the pathogen team and the lymphocyte team—compete for dominance, like the good guys and the bad guys in a dark ride.
A far cry from the dry, static museum exhibits of old, Body Battles was described by The Tennessean as “outrageously interactive” and was greeted with squeals of delight and screams of excitement from children (and some adults) who attended the unveiling in 2004. Sally adapted the same technologies developed for their interactive dark rides into this museum project. The black light game features laser guns, scoring consoles, cartoon-style characters and lots of bells and whistles. Body Battles is a funky, colorful, barrel of fun and, yes, educational.
This black light game pits two groups of six -- The Pathogen Team and the Lymphocyte Team -- against one another. They compete for dominance while two personable animatronic characters, Lieutenant Lymphocyte and Private Pathogen, cheer their teams on. A whistle-blowing 8 foot-tall animated thermometer tracks the teams' scores and shows who's winning.
“The game is played in a totally enclosed, black-light environment,” notes designer Bruce Robinson. The two-dimensional, cartoon-style targets feature guest-controlled animation. Scenically treated in ultra-violet paint, they have a great dimensional quality under black light, and each time a target is hit, there is a reaction: body parts move and lights are activated. Dramatic sound effects reinforce the action with a combination of humor and a little of that special grossness that kids just love.”
When a player hits a target, a score is recorded on his or her individual scoring console (which looks like a first-aid box) and is added to the team’s cumulative score. Different messages are triggered at the end of the game depending on which team wins.
“Body Battles weaves together three important themes: body systems, healthy choices and careers in healthcare,” says Ralph Schulz, CEO of Adventure Science Center. “With this exhibit, we are teaching young people not only about the world around them, but about the world within them.”
Body Battles was developed by Bruce D. Robinson Museum Design and Sally Dark Rides with input from museum staff, health professionals, nurses, doctors and teachers convened by Nashville's Adventure Science Center. The 1,035 sq. ft. exhibit includes a pre-show featuring informations tools including a short video presentation.