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VR World: exploring virtual reality in New York City

Think of an indoor amusement park, where you barely move yourself to enjoy the attractions, neither get wet nor anything. That’s how I can summarize VR World. One of New York’s newest attractions is the largest Virtual Reality entertainment center in the Western Hemisphere. VR World is the first permanent high street venue independent from any event or festival offering to the public Virtual Reality games and content all year-round in a uniquely designed space. I was super curious to check the place up close and tell you! Last Friday, I was there with Thiago.

First of all, I think it’s cool to elucidate the concept of virtual reality, for those who are not familiar. Virtual reality is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. On a computer, virtual reality is primarily experienced through two of the five senses: sight and sound. (Whatis.com). It sounds crazy, but virtual reality really transports you to another place… You’re standing still, completely safe, but you can feel all the sensations as if it was true.

Now that the concept has been elucidated let’s talk about VR World! The operation is simple: you get a pass which gives you access to the games and experiences for a particular amount of time. Each game/experience has an instructor. You check in on the desired experience by touching your bracelet on the tablet. The screen indicates if there are lines. With the help of the instructor, you put on the glasses and the headphones. The instructor also gives you a brief explanation of the commands. VR World has more than 50 experiences in virtual reality! Two floors! There are fighting games, races, experiences for kids, and even a The Walking Dead game! Each experience lasts 5 to 10 minutes. Visitors should be at least 7 years old.

My first experience was to walk on a plank on the top of a skyscraper. It’s crazy to realize that I was on the grounds but it felt like it was right up there. And when the instructor said I had to jump… I freaked out – but I jumped, and it was fantastic! Unbelievable. Then we went to the car race, where I test my driver’s skills lol. You sit in a “car” that has a steering wheel, an accelerator, and a break, and the race starts. Unfortunately, I ended up getting a little sick with this experience. My husband also tried the archery game and enjoyed it! You can click here and check out all the VR World experiences. It is also worth mentioning the structure of the place: there are enough places to sit for you to rest between one experience and another and the environment is very spacious and clean.

The less busy times are between 3 pm and 5 pm. We were there around 6:30 p.m. on a Friday. When we arrived, the place was empty, but when we left, it was crowded. The staff also informed us that there is a high demand on the weekends!

Now let’s talk about prices! The 2-hour pass – which is well enough to take advantage of the location – is $39. There is also an all-day pass for $59. You can buy online if you wish. There are discounts for larger groups – just contact them by email: jonathan@vrworldnyc.com

I  enjoyed VR World! For me, it is that definition of an indoor amusement park =) I think it can be a great thing to do with a friend or a group, you can have a lot of fun! It is also a must for anyone who enjoys technology! Also, the fact that the venue opens later on some days of the week makes VR World a great nightlife idea!

Address: 4 East 34 Street, New York, NY 10016 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK: Monday: 12pm – 8pm / Tuesday: 12pm – 10pm / Wednesday: 12pm – 10pm / Thursday: 12pm – 10pm / Friday: 12pm – 10pm / Saturday: 12pm – 10pm / Sunday: 12pm – 8pm

photos by Thiago Ghisi and Laura Peruchi are provided courtesy of VR World

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