Descend into the depths of the ocean to watch marine life, or arm yourself and battle bloodthirsty zombies. Scene75's VR will satisfy anyone from the curious novice to the hardcore gamer.
Growing up as a child in the 70s and 80s there were certain things promised to me by television's representation of the future that I have eagerly awaited my entire life. The flying cars and robot maids of The Jetsons may still be a ways off, but the Holodeck of the Star Trek Enterprise is no longer as farfetched as you might think. You can get a look at how far that kind of futuristic technology has come at Scene 75's new Virtual Reality Experience.
If you follow the gaming or entertainment industry, then you know that virtual reality is the hot new thing. Microsoft, Sony, Valve and even Facebook have recently developed or are developing their own VR technology. Most insiders agree, that virtual reality is the future of both gaming and entertainment. On the entertainment side, there are a number of exciting ways VR is being used. You will be able to use 360 degree cameras to take pictures and movies and then through a VR headset, family and friends will be able to experience them exactly as you did. Many movie studios are using virtual reality to experience the movies like never before. The recent movie The Conjuring 2 for instance offered a haunted tour of the house featured in the movie.
The gaming industry is jumping into VR with both feet. The three biggest gaming companies have (or are about to) introduce virtual reality technology on the three biggest gaming platforms (Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox and the Steam gaming platform on computers). The problem with the technology in this early stage is that it is very expensive. To get the full experience of VR, you either need one of the new upgraded Sony PS4 Pro consoles, the updated Microsoft Xbox One Scorpio consoles or a very high end gaming computer. That is just to be able to run the technology. You then also need to purchase the virtual reality hardware itself which usually consists of a headset, two controllers, and a good set of gaming headphones. If you are starting from scratch, you can expect to pay about $1500 to $2500.
The good news is, thanks to Scene 75, you don't have to shell out big bucks to taste the future.
For just $12 dollars you can step into the exciting computer generated world of the future for a full 20 minutes or spend a whole hour exploring for just $24. Trust me on this, you'll want the full hour. You will be amazed by the experiences you can have in those 60 minutes.
The nice thing about the Virtual Reality Experience at Scene 75 is that there are a multitude of experiences you can have that will satisfy anyone from the curious novice to the hardcore gamer. You can do something as relaxing as descend into the depths of the ocean and watch marine life swim all around you. You can also arm yourself with a handgun and knife and battle bloodthirsty zombies. I spent most of my time doing the latter.
You will walk up to the VR Experience counter and one of the really knowledgeable and helpful staff members will explain how everything works and tell you about each of the virtual experiences available to you. You will choose what you want to explore and they will get you set up in one of the 9 foot by 12 foot gaming rooms and get you suited up with your visor headset, headphones and controllers. They will walk you through how each experience works and help you get started and then you are on your own.
As my game started, I literally forgot I was standing in a gaming cubicle. I was transported to a world where I was standing by a river near an old dam or some other sort of industrial structure. I could look up, down, left or right. I could turn completely around in a circle and the world around me was seamless and complete. I heard footsteps approaching. I looked to my left... nothing. To my right... nothing. The footsteps get closer and closer. I turn all the way around to see a zombie coming out of a large pipe. I shoot that zombie but my first two rounds hit him in the chest and neck. The head man! Aim for the head! I finally take that zombie down with a sick thud of his head exploding only to figure out there were zombies approaching from all sides now. Had they heard my gunshots? It doesn't matter now. I am in the thick of it. Blam! Blam! Slice! Stab! I am taking zombies down in 360 degrees of blood and terror. I am good at this. I am like the Rick Grimes of the virtual world... until I am not. I was soon overwhelmed by neck biting undead creatures and I died, but it was so much fun!
That was just one of over a dozen experiences I could have explored which range from mild to wild. They also offer local multiplayer experiences where you can play with people in the other booths. This would be an excellent team building activity for corporations as it offers the same kind of challenges as something like paintball or lasertag without all the running around and getting dirty.
Whether you are someone looking to get into virtual reality gaming but want to test it out before you invest hundreds or thousands of dollars, or you're just looking for a unique and interesting experience, the Virtual Reality Experience at Scene 75 offers a multitude of 360 degree fun. And don't be put off if you're "technologically challenged". It doesn't require you to do anything except put on a visor and push some buttons, but it will feel like you are in another world.
This is the kind of future I dreamed of as a kid. I am still waiting on the flying cars though.
More information: Scene75's Virtual Reality Experience
D.B. Buckner is a Dayton Local Contributor.