Prepare to learn more about yourself than you'd expect at HBO's interactive 'Westworld' experience
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Ever wanted to enter Westworld? If you’re headed to Comic-Con this week, you just might get your chance.
HBO is hosting an interactive and immersive 21+ experience that takes fans into the android populated world. Comic-Con attendees can book a trip at the Westworld appointment desk, located in the lobby of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, on Thursday, July 20, Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 starting at 9:30 a.m. PT until all slots for the day have been filled. Beware though, you may just learn more about yourself than you wanted to. Will you survive the activation?
Here’s what we experienced:
Entering the Westworld experience, you’re greeted by a duo of “Hosts” who take your name and check you into your appointment. “You’re in the right place,” an emotionless, possible android said. “Would you mind taking a seat? A member of Delos will be with you shortly.”
After being escorted inside, you’re brought into the Delos offices — or you can make a run for the exit to the high-speed train!! — where you can choose your weapon, clothes, and other western appropriate gear. Sadly, you don’t actually get to suit up, but you can pass the time waiting for your personality assessment by checking out the costumes and weapons. A friendly host clad in white is all too happy to offer weapon advice. “Sometimes you need to put the rules aside and try something new. That’s perfectly acceptable. Many guests seem to be a fan of the shotgun because of it’s easy access and power. This place is all about power.”
On the way to your personality assessment, you pass a door marked SW. “Don’t mind the noises coming from research and development,” another host exclaimed as you could hear sword fighting — a nod to Samurai World from the finale, perhaps?
The personality assessment is quite jarring. Here’s how HBO describes it: “Personalized one-on-one sessions will delve into guests’ psyches, unlocking their true selves and resulting in an exclusive Westworld takeaway.” In short, you’re asked a variety of questions that will decide whether you go white hat or black, including which finger you’d be comfortable losing in a life or death situation. Be careful how you answer. Seriously. There are also Easter eggs galore from here on out, including a disturbing video that MIGHT show new footage of the Man in Black following the events of the finale. One word: Blood. Okay, more words for those who can’t make it to Con: It’s daytime, so likely the morning after. His face is covered in blood and he begins to smirk. He’s all in. Oh, and watch your Host during the video. Trust. She totally wigs out. (Plus, you get to keep the hat!)
VIDEO: Westworld Finale: 5 Unanswered Questions
Finally, you head to the Mariposa Saloon, where you try a trio of drinks, including a flaming whisky, as the madame of the bar gets quite friendly and a player piano croons in the background — you may even notice blood on it.
All in all, the activation is a delight — and almost too real — as you feel like you’re really in the world of Westworld. You may even learn something about yourself and wish you could really go to Westworld. Well, maybe not if you don’t want to die a horrible death at the hands of uprising androids. As the android host said at the exit, “Enjoy living without limits.”