MAKE’s Matt Richardson gets a behind-the-scenes look at how Penzoil and Nintendo created a real-life experience inspired by the popular MarioKart video game. Just like the game, power ups along the raceway allow you to get a speed boost (or perhaps even slow you down). That system runs on RFID tags and sensors; each driver gets and RFID wristband and the cars have tags in them as well. Sensors along the track can tell when you’ve run over the power ups and act accordingly.
In this version of the game, if you get five power ups, you get a nice speed boost to fly by your opponents. Not only do they need crews to monitor the sensors, gameplay, and karts, but they also have a full television production crew to create a downloadable video of your race, complete with 4-Up POV shots and NASCAR-style camerawork.