A YouTube video doing the rounds a while back showed a woman stepping onto a shaky platform constructed from bars and chains, she puts on a Virtual Reality headset. Behind her are four screens showing spectators a rollercoaster ride as she is witnessing it. A man assisting this experience pulls, pushes and shakes the platform she stands on. The woman screams and clings onto the bar for dear life, firmly believing she is on a real rollercoaster. Next to her are two more similar stands occupied by equally excited yet terrified participants.
To my surprise, as the camera panned round, I saw this all took place on the street. This was a little over a year ago. Today the Virtual Reality Arcade industry is a fast growing, worldwide phenomenon with advanced technology and designated venues from Japan to Scotland.
Owning a complete Virtual Reality system can be expensive however and with prices as high as £4000+, it is not as easily accessible as many other gaming systems. The designated area needed to experience many of the games available presents a further challenge to the gaming community wishing to play with friends or in a social environment. Herein lies the, as yet largely untapped, potential of VR Arcades.
The speed of growth in the Virtual Reality industry has the potential to provide increased opportunities for developers, giving their games worldwide reach. Harnessing this global platform is exactly what huge Chinese software company Shunwang aims to do.
With Scotland being home to some of the biggest games companies, it is not surprising that VR Arcades have begun to emerge. Here at DogStar VR Lounge in Dundee, you can access the best virtual reality experiences in a family friendly atmosphere. We have a 50 square meter arena where you can explore virtual worlds with you friends free from cumbersome cables.