KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Virtual reality is all the rage right now, and Kalamazoo has the state’s very first virtual reality arcade.
This week, Newschannel 3 visited to see what it’s all about.
The owners of Nova Virtual Reality Arcade, in Kalamazoo tell us the technology can be used for things like improving your art skills or fighting off zombies.
And they are putting the power into the palm of your hands.
Bill Brieger is a coach of sorts, walking people through a whole new world.
“I’ve been excited about VR for as long as I can remember,” he said.
He’s the co-owner of Nova Virtual Reality in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood. And he’s created the first of it’s kind in the state, in this new era of arcade.
“There’s archery and you’re using your whole body to aim and shoot. Or you’re blasting robots, blasting zombies,” he said.
By putting on the goggles, VR allows players to escape.
“You could be in space. You could be in a cabin in the woods. Any number of places and it’s completely immersive,” he said.
Nova features 4 different rooms that you can rent by the hour, and bring a group of friends to play along.
Our producer, photographer, and reporter Jessica Wheeler all tested it out, and while you feel a little silly at first, it doesn’t take long to jump right in.
Only one person plays at a time, but it becomes fun for the whole room.
“It’s completely engaging for everybody,” Brieger said. “You’ve got everyone cheering and laughing and going nuts.”
And while many people use it for a fun battle, he sees the technology moving in a very useful direction.
“I think VR will have dramatic implications for just about every field. You really can practice things,” he said.
Brieger tells us he’s improved his art skills using virtual reality, and can see it being used to conquer phobias of things like heights and water.
Brieger says they are open for families, young kids and adults.
He says they are getting new games daily and the technology is evolving all the time.