Though the alarming lack of decent Sonic the Hedgehog plushies somewhat soured the experience, the Joystiq staffers attending last year's Tokyo Game Show
managed to enjoy a brief diversion to one of Sega's Joypolis
entertainment centers. Just think of them as indoor theme parks and arcades where half the fun lies in figuring out what the hell
it is you're playing. If you can't quite envision it, you'll be pleased to note that the feeling of delighted puzzlement is set to spread to other parts of the world, as Sega and Dubai properties firm Emaar have announced plans to open a number of similar theme parks across the Middle East and North Africa. That is
where you live, right?
According to GamesIndustry.Biz
, the first of these will be featured in The Dubai Mall, a 76,000 square foot monstrosity of consumerism set to open in Downtown Burj Dubai late 2008. Rashid Zakaria Doleh, CEO of Emaar Malls Group (and shameless user of words like "shoppertainment
") reckons the Sega synergy will provide a "world-class experience" for those looking to be ... shoppertained.
Though it's still far from finished, we're particularly excited about the park's promised indoor roller-coaster. It's likely to be a variant of Sega's increasingly popular "Multiplatform Shift," a heart-stopping thrill ride which places fans at the highest point on the track before sending them plummeting into a vat of toxic sludge.