Mississauga’s First Ever Virtual Reality Arcade is Now Open

If you've ever wandered by a virtual reality (VR) facility and wondered what all those smiling people in headsets were doing, wonder no more—you can soon experience virtual reality in your own backyard.

Reboot Reality, a brand new VR arcade and entertainment centre, has set up shop in the Dixie and 401 area and is bringing audiences of all ages an exciting type of entertainment that allows them to immerse themselves in a completely different environment.

The facility is hosting its grand opening today (April 12) and guests can enjoy a free VR demo from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

"The concept is an old arcade with new technology," says Sebastian Kuras, owner of the Reboot Reality.

As for how it works, people can play a plethora games with an HTC Vive headset that allows them to experience room-scale gameplay with precise motion tracking and natural controller gestures.

Players can also open apps and games without taking off their headsets.

The HTC Vive headset is a little different in the sense that it allows people to fully interact with their virtual environment.

"You can interact with the environment," says Kuras. "You can see the controller moving in real time. If you're typing something, you have to tap the keys and move the mouse around and click."

While VR facilities have been cropping up in Canada and beyond, Reboot Reality is the first facility of its kind in Mississauga.

The 2,597 square foot facility offers eight booths that are ideal for individual play and over a dozen different games.

In terms of games, players can check out anything from intense survival games to lighter artistic and creative adventures. Some games include Cloudlands VR Mini-Golf, Job Simulator, Lightblade VR and more.

While VR in general isn't completely new, the concept of VR for everyone is just starting to catch on. The growth of VR arcades is particularly exciting because they make the medium accessible to people who cannot afford VR equipment for their homes. It's also perfect for people who want to play a more collaborative game—say, mini-golf—but cannot do so because they simply don't have the space in their homes (let alone enough equipment for all their friends).

"If you want to play mini-golf, all people would need headsets and computers and space and it's expensive," says Kuras.

Kuras also said that his facility is going to provide something a little different and fulfill a need that's not yet been met in the city.

"Most people we've talked to have been excited by it," he says. "It's not a need that's filled in Mississauga, such as archery tag and escape rooms. Technology is too expensive for home use and the arcade feel is nostalgic."

There also games for everyone—including people who have never shown much interest in gaming.

"Some games are mindless but fun, and others require you think and build in the 3D world. Demographics aren't limited," he says. "Personally, I think this is something for everyone. Someone from an older generation can enjoy it and the millennial generation is always looking for entertainment outlets."

While Reboot Reality will be ideal for anyone looking for a fun escape, it'll also be great for corporate team building and birthday and holiday parties.

"Right now, we'll charge $30 for 50 mins in a booth and we'll be running a promotion where someone likes our page and checks in and gets a $5 discount," Kuras says. "It'll cost up to $200 to book all booths and $260 to book the whole facility. We'll also have two racing booths with full steering wheels and pedals, so people will get race someone in VR."

And while people are welcome to play alone, they can also play in groups.

"We have cooperative games that are good for groups to play together. People can play and talk to each other while playing," Kuras says.

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