Las Vegas Attraction: CSI: The Experience
Anybody who is going to Las Vegas and loves CSI needs to stop at the MGM Hotel and Casino to check out CSI: The Experience. This experience takes you through different crime scenes where you look at the evidence and at the end of the tour you get to solve the crime using the computers provided. There are three different crime scenes you can choose from and this helps to make the experience go much smoother than if there were only one. Other than the crime scene areas, there are other areas that aid in your investigation and that allow you to use the evidence to make your determination.
The Exhibition Areas
There are seven main areas in the exhibit including the three crime scene areas:
- Briefing Area – This is where you get all the information you need in order to solve the crime and put the perpetrator behind bars. The creator of CSI greets you and then a real forensic scientist helps you learn the basics about crime scene investigation. Finally you are prepped by your supervisor who reminds you to keep an open mind and to work through the case systematically.
- Crime Scene One: The House Collided – Crime scene one shows you a car that has went through a home with the driver slumped over the steering and still in the car. Obviously this is not a real person but a manikin that is used instead. There is a great deal of evidence to sort through and you will use some real crime scene investigative techniques to determine what actually happened.
- Crime Scene Two: Who Got Served? – When you walk up to this crime scene, you see a dead girl behind on of the old hotels in Las Vegas. There is debris scattered around her body and all is considered evidence. It is your job to determine what the evidence is and what trash from the dumpster she is lying beside is not evidence. She is wearing a waitress uniform and has on a name tag labeled Penny. Is this her real name, who is she and who murdered her? These are the questions you will answer as the crime scene investigator.
- Crime Scene Three: No Bones About It – Crime scene three takes place in the Nevada desert and hits really close to home because there are many bodies and bones found in the desert. The set of bones comes with many clues and it is your job to sift through them to determine cause of death. Not all crime scene investigations lead to murder and this victim could simply be a hiker that became lost and died from the elements. You will not know what has happened until you go through all of the evidence and conclude your investigation.
- Lab One – This is probably one of the coolest areas of the exhibit as this is where you perform your tests on the evidence from the crime scenes. You will learn about blood spatter patterns as well as fingerprinting techniques. You will also examine fibers to see if they match other evidence that has been found and search through digital mapping of crime scene locations. One of the best tools is learning about firearm ballistics so you can determine the cause of the death, how the crime was committed and who did the crime. All these tools are actual forensic studies that are completed on actual crimes.
- Lab Two: Autopsy Room – Lab two and the Autopsy room are where you get under the skin of the victim to gather even more evidence and where you analyze it too. You learn about DNA evidence and how it works to determine suspects and how it is used to help identify victims. Then you will see a virtual autopsy of the victims to help further determine their cause of death. All of this evidence helps in your criminal investigation and works hand in hand with the other evidence collected to determine the outcome of the case.
- Report To Grissom The Supervisor – You report you findings to Supervisor Grissom after logging into the secure system with your thumbprint. Once you have given your report and have told him your finding, he will let you know if you are right or if your evidence does not add up. This is where the investigators learn if all their hard work paid off or if they were on the wrong track all together.
You can download some fun filled guides that will help your family hone their observational skills before you take on the task of solving a crime. These guides can be found on the CSI: The Experience website and can be downloaded and printed out for all the family members to try. Teachers can also use these guides in the classroom to teach their students these same tactics. The following is a list of the games and activities that will help your powers of perception and observation:
- The Writing On The Wall – This activity teaches everyone how to match writing samples to see if they fit one person. It is very easy to do and does not take any expensive supplies. Simply get two different colored index cards, pass them out and have either the family members or class write the same word on both cards. As you collect the cards, give one color of cards letters and the other numbers so they can be identified as belonging to the same person. For instance, the first two cards would be A and 1.
- Spot The Difference – This is very easy to set up and many remember this game from the comics section of the newspaper when you were kids. Simply take one photograph and print it out, Photoshop some items in the digital copy and print that out the same size as the original print. Then find the differences between the pictures.
- I-Witness – This game not only works on observational skills but also helps to build writing skills. Show your children or the classroom a photo and let them look at it for about a minute. Once you put the photo away, have them write a description of what they saw in the photograph.
Coupons and Savings
This interactive experience is not cheap but it is worth the thirty dollars that you pay to spend a few hours out of the hot Las Vegas sun. Nearly every Las Vegas magazine that is found on the strip including coupon books has an offer for five to ten dollars off this attraction. Take advantage of these savings before heading over to the MGM Hotel and Casino. You can also get savings by signing up for the players club at the MGM.
This is one of the best interactive attractions in Las Vegas at the moment. It is not only fun but it offers a great chance at learning new skills for the entire family. Whether you come to Las Vegas for a business trip, convention or just a family holiday, CSI: The Experience is a must. Even locals who never venture near the Strip have taken the time to check out this awesome exhibit and to become forensic detectives in their own right.