The game master led me into a dim and empty room. “This was not what I expected,” I thought to myself as I stepped in.
For those who have seen the film Ready Player One, virtual reality gives you a taste of what it feels like to be in another dimension. My experience, however, has been limited to VR rollercoaster rides thus far.
When I came to know of a collaborative VR game that’s available in Singapore, I knew I had to give it a try – which is how I found myself at Virtual Room Singapore on a Friday.
Occupying the entire B3 level in Lucky Chinatown, Virtual Room Singapore has 22 rooms. Each person is given a room to ensure safety.
Together with two other friends, we were hooked up to the VR headsets and earphones and linked up to the game system.
Before I could collect my thoughts, the blank walls around me turned into a futuristic looking room. “Welcome Alpha team,” a deep voice boomed through our headphones. We set off on our adventure after taking note of the instructions.
Since I was familiar with escape rooms, the game play was familiar to me. What surprised me, however, was being transported to different settings in a flash.
One moment I found myself in outer space, and the next I’m in a cave surrounded by fire and skulls, fearing that I would fall into a black abyss.
As the game went on, I realised that the tasks made the three of us actively communicate with each other. In fact, it was the only way we could progress.
Even so, during the times when my friends weren’t of any help – I had no need to fret.
“Look to your right, you’ll find what you need,” a fourth voice piped up. It turns out that there are game masters who are actively tracking our progress, offering to guide us when we’re stuck with the tasks.
Our short trip to different dimensions soon ended as we emerged victorious – we had cleared our mission! Post-celebratory selfies were a must.
It was only later on that we realised we actually took longer than what I had thought – a grand total of 45 minutes.
Deanna, the Manager of Virtual Room Singapore, reassures us that it’s the average time most people spend for a single game.
While Virtual Room Singapore may be one of the few contenders in our local VR gaming scene, the brand itself has locations in more than 10 different countries.
For Deanna, she hopes that through Virtual Room Singapore, there will be raised awareness about the benefits that VR can bring.
“I believe it’s the future,” she says as she nods her head.
She then shares how the entire gaming experience has been intricately designed, pointing out certain aspects of the game. These were details that I took for granted, but in hindsight are well planned to ensure that my adventure was as life-like as possible.
Deanna elaborates that such life-like possibilities are applicable not only for entertainment, but also could extend into education, such as providing VR simulations for job trainings.
Bringing People Together
Just like what I had noticed, Deanna agrees that communication and teamwork was crucial to the game as each player has a different perspective of the situation. In fact, skills from the real world have to be applied to our virtual dimension in order to succeed.
It’s at this juncture that my friend asks her about the lack of motion-sickness while playing the game. For someone who can’t watch 3D movies, he was surprised that he could last the entire duration without feeling any giddiness or nausea. Deanna explains that this is because of the high-quality of the headsets, coupled with being in control of your actions that prevent such effects.
It’s also no surprise when Deanna mentions that the VR gaming experience at Virtual Room Singapore is applicable for all ages. The team’s clientele ranges from children to the elderly. Many businesses have also had their team bonding sessions here, since the game promotes communication and teamwork.
Unfortunately, I can’t reveal too much of the entire experience without spoiling it for you – you’ll have to try it for yourself.
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