So after the mind blowing conference we had earlier this week and the exploration of reality and virtual reality, I decided to fall even deeper into the rabbit hole and I realized that virtual reality has not only invaded classrooms, but also, our shopping malls.
That’s right, virtual reality has been used to re-invigorate shopping malls that had a decline in attendance, using the empty retail space for VR experiences. According to an article from TechCrunch, The Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, was created for the 2002 Olympics, and was once a bustling hub for shoppers. Ironically with the rise of online shopping, customers are spending more time buying from home instead of going out to the malls.
Ryan Burningham, founder of The Void, made the decision to move his VR facilities to the mall for it’s low cost. According to The Void, it’s virtual reality that is truly immersive, involving things that you can feel.
They even have a ghostbusters game where you go around blasting ghosts with your proton streamer.
And they say that it’s an interactive interface, giving you real-world objects that correspond with the ones in the game for you to interact with. On Wednesday, I briefly mentioned haptics, and man, does this deliver.
They even designed a specific gun for The Void, which is part of their Rapture series, to help users get a feel for the weapons they use in game.
Users can also team up with one another and enter the same game, with up to four people in each game. So family and friends can take on ghostbusters together, or search through secret tunnels. While we mentioned the total isolation you get with VR and lack of community, it’s interesting to see that they’re trying to incorporate a multiplayer aspect to the whole experience.
This team has gotten rave reviews on The Void experience, and are working on expanding the experience to other locations.