The Imagination Station is a key invention of John Whittaker and one of the most important plot devices in Adventures in Odyssey, similar to (and possibly directly inspired by) Star Trek's "holodeck". Since its invention by Whit, it has been involved in several dozen AIO episodes, videos, and books. The specific workings of the Imagination Station are not clear, except that it is a virtual reality device that allows users to experience history.
The first development of the "Imagination Station" occurred in episode #46: “The Shepherd and the Giant”. In the episode, Whit allows Connie to try out his new Environment Enhancer, a device that "adds effects and music while you're listening to a story, to make it seem like you're there". At the start of the episode, Whit references a microchip and a processor, in addition to headphones. Connie uses the Environment Enhancer to listen to the story of David and Goliath. The Environment Enhancer makes no further appearances in the AIO storyline, though in #53: “The Sacred Trust”, Eugene can be heard talking to Whit about how to increase the visual effectiveness of the device, foreshadowing the eventual creation of the Imagination Station.
Typically, Imagination Station programs have covered either Bible stories (like Christ's crucifixion, the story of David and Jonathan, and Moses and the Passover) or historical events (the American Revolution, the Gettysburg Address, etc.). This feature essentially allows the user to time travel, albeit via a virtual reality simulation.
However, programs are not limited to either of these; for the most part, programs can be written about whatever the programmer chooses. In one notable episode, #211: “The Mortal Coil, Part 1” & #212: “The Mortal Coil, Part 2” Whit wrote a program about death, which (though he didn't know it at the time he wrote the program) allowed the one in the Imagination station a glimpse of either Heaven or Hell. While in the program, Whit experienced a heart attack in real life, but remained in a coma after stabilizing because he was unwilling to let go of the glimpse of Heaven he had caught. After waking up, Whit made the decision to delete the program. Meanwhile, Eugene Meltsner experienced a taste of Hell, and as a result, he soon became a Christian to leave behind the agony.
In #508: “The American Revelation, Part 1”, an entirely new machine is built, modified to hold up to 10 people. A scanning chamber is added, so a user can scan a book or painting. This was probably done because of the self destruct in 499: Exit.
Eugene Meltsner used the Death Program and found himself in Hell because he was not a Christian. In fear of Hell, he hid inside his college dorm room, where Connie witnessed to him about Christianity. Eugene later used the Imagination Station to relive his life in Odyssey and decided to become a Christian.
Whit made a program in the Imagination Station to stimulate memories when Eugene lost his. Ultimately, Eugene regained his memory due to prayer, while the Imagination Station and Eugene's radio wave research played only a small part (#566: “A Most Extraordinary Conclusion”).
Jason created a program that allows the user to do anything they want just by imagining it. This temporarily allowed a wheelchair bound kid to walk and a blind kid to see. The effects of this "healing" only lasted for as long as the Imagination Station was in use, and did not last once the user disengaged the machine. This caused a dependency of sorts among the kids of Odyssey and the line for the Imagination Station quickly grew, much to chagrin of the parents of Odyssey. Realizing the type of damage this was doing, Jason disengaged the program.
Whit creates an Imagination Station program that shows the user a glimpse of life after death. The program shows Whit a heaven from which he might not want to come back, while it gives Eugene a taste of hell which terrifies him to no end.
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz wants to learn about cities in the Bible, so Whit sends her into Bethany and later joins her. The adventure becomes all the more incredible when the two witness a person being raised from the dead!
Using the Imagination Station, Sam Johnson meets a young inventor named Thomas Edison. Sam thinks Thomas is wasting his time with silly inventions and should just enjoy being a kid. Little does Sam realize who he's really influencing.
When her parents tell her she's not allowed to be in a play due to its anti-Christian content, Aubrey Shepard goes on an Imagination Station adventure to John the Baptist to learn what standing up to authority is all about.
Marvin Washington and Trent DeWhite scan their homework assignments into the Imagination Station to better solve word problems in math. However, the boys end up taking the capabilities of the machine a bit too far.
Bernard, Tom, and Connie get the feeling Whit is up to something when they find out he's been spending all night working on the Imagination Station and a visitor from the department of health pays him a visit.
Additional Summary: The Adventures in Odyssey Birthday Bash celebrated 25 years of wonder, excitement and discovery. Nearly five thousand fans attended a June 2012 live performance in Dallas, Texas! Download the fun as you experience the full performance with the Adventures in Odyssey cast.