By Ben Rodgers
ASHWAUBENON – Anyone wanting to shoot zombies in the desert, explore the depths of the ocean, or get behind the wheel of a 700-horsepower supercar will soon get their wish.
Edge VR Arcade, located at 2642 Packerland Drive, will open its doors to the public on March 24.
It will offer people a taste of more than 20 different virtual worlds in a fully immersive environment.
“It is you in that environment. You are the one doing it. It comes naturally,” said Tony Reale, co-owner of the arcade. “It’s easy for anyone to pick up and it’s super fun.”
Edge VR Arcade will offer three different types of virtual reality.
The first is booth VR. Users put on a headset and different lasers pick up the user’s location and allow them to move and interact with the virtual surroundings.
“Booth VR allows you to walk around a room-scale environment and it has the widest library of game experiences to choose from,” Reale said. “We also have a lot of multiplayer games with that where people can hop in with up to three others and play together.”
People can experience what it’s like to be Spiderman or dodge bullets in slow motion, just to name a few of the game options.
In the booth, when the user needs to duck, they can duck. It’s also a virtual world where the user needs to be aware of their entire surroundings.
Booth VR is considered to be the easiest to learn and play and games and experiences would suit any player.
The second type being offered is Active VR. Users strap into an omni-directional treadmill and are able to walk around without going anywhere in the real world.
By literally running to the other end of the virtual grid users can expect a workout.
“It’s going to be a great thing to be able to play video games and be active to the level where it’s a sport-type thing,” Reale said.
The final type being offered is Simulator VR. Right now this will be for racing games, but eventually flight games will be offered.
The user sits in a driver’s seat, has three pedals and can feel what it’s like in a high-speed, competitive race.
There is nothing like this in the area as the machine uses hydraulics to literally shake the user.
People can feel the car move due to the terrain or shifting gears, or bumping into other racers or the wall.
Overall the arcade will feature something for beginners up to VR veterans, and different ways to experience it.
“The experience can be as intense or as casual as you want it to be,” Reale said. “We’ll have a variety of games for people to choose from that will fit their style of play and give them the experience they want.”
Reale said he wants Edge VR to be like a cross between a bowling alley and a movie theater.
Meaning it’s a place for people to go have fun in groups, but they can also expect something new each time.
“We’re trying to give people the best game options as possible, but we don’t want to overwhelm them,” he said.
For younger gamers there will also be parental filters so young children won’t be taking on zombies with an axe.
Sean Bowers, the other co-owner, said Edge VR Arcade employees will work with users who are new to VR to help get them acclimated to how it works and help find the right games for them based on what they like to play.
“We’ll be their virtual guides to the best content available in multiple genres,” Bowers said.
Edge VR Arcade will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday starting March 24.
The flat rate for Booth VR is $20 for 30 minutes or $30 for an hour. Rates vary on the simulator and the Active VR.
The two will also add to their website edgevrarcade.com so users can book a time in advance. Videos and tutorials will also be coming online.
For more updates follow Edge VR Arcade on Facebook.
People are also welcome to call the arcade at 920-393-9343 with any questions or to book a time.
Finally, Reale and Bowers encourage people with questions to stop by for answers in the real world.