Virtual reality is a new concept that has gained a considerable amount of popularity recently, as the ability to lose yourself in a new version of reality is very appealing to most of us. However, every time somebody immerses himself/herself into the thrilling worlds made available by virtual reality, he/she has to isolate himself/herself by turning off the lights, muffing any outside noise and making sure that the real world is completely blocked out.
After assessing the situation, some modern arcades have decided to take a lesson from the old gaming bars and to integrate the social element into the virtual reality gaming experience. Now, one can go out, put on a pair of goggles that resemble some regular goggles for triathlon and play while still hanging out with friends and enjoying a drink. As a result, it could be said that, with the emersion of VR arcades, VR has taken a big leap in becoming an essential part of today’s entertainment scene.
How it works
The whole idea was seen as a way to add VR based games and experiences into the reality of pubs and bars. However, because the creators of the concept knew that drinking and playing VR games is not an ideal mix, some modifications to the bars where these modern arcades are placed have been made.
For instance, venues of this type are stocked with special headsets and audio straps that are tied up to the ceiling by using an extendable seat belt. To prevent the players from injuring themselves, they are supplied with a giant extra padded paying area.
Consequently, the players don’t roam too far, and they don’t end up bumping into clients that are not connected to the VR game.
Thanks to the success of the concept, some venues have started to treat VR nights in a similar way as major sporting events. Hence, the non-playing customers get to see a peak of what’s happening inside the game as in-game footage is streamed live on large TVs.
Therefore, other punters get to watch their friends playing while sipping a drink at the bar and waiting for their turn to play. What is more, if you are not there to necessarily enjoy the VR experience, you can just as well ignore the screens. Consequently, it could be said that the recipe that guarantees the success of the idea is that VR is only a small part of the whole going out to a bar experience.
Is it popular?
At this time, numerous such arcades function all around the world. For instance, there are a few pubs that use VR in London and Vienna. What is more, there is a high profile park that uses VR in Guizhou, China. According to the specialists, in the near future, we can expect VR to be just a normal part of the overall social experience.
Those that have gone out to venues of this kind consider them a cool, enjoyable experience. On top of that, bars of this type are now considered an excellent idea for a first date, primarily by those that are familiar with VR games. Therefore, it could be said that, in the future, going out might be a completely different experience, as playing darts in your local pub could soon be replaced by playing in VR instead!
Who came up with the concept?
The idea was popularized by VR Concept, a British company founded by Oli Lane and Anthony Nixon. While Lane has previously worked in the field of satellite propulsion, Nixon has gained experienced while developing IT infrastructure.
By combining their forces, they have managed to create a fun, entertaining space where people have a good time. As a plus, they have started to change the stereotype that arcades are places were only nerds go.
Although their chain of venues is relatively new, they currently draw quite a crowd, and they are seen as the place to go if you want to impress your friends by taking them to a cool and interesting location.
Is it safe?
Well, pretty much yes. Given that the players get to perform in a delineated space that has extra padding and a special infrastructure, there are not many risks. As a plus, after testing their concept and after seeing where things don’t go as planned, Nixon and Lane have made all the changes necessary so that their clientele is happy and completely satisfied with the experience.
Quality-wise, these venues are packed with top-notch equipment and with the latest gadgets and devices when it comes to VR. These new arcade pubs are suitable for both experienced players and newbies that are looking for a unique fun experience.
So, if you love a new challenge, and you are ready to trade your awesome tactical goggles for a pair of VR goggles, feel free to take a chance and give these bars a go!