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Virtual Reality + Escape Rooms = The Future?
With myriad Escape Game set-ups available, and endless possibilities for new entrepreneurs, these popular puzzle games rely on creating an immersive journey for customers to experience with friends.
Much of the pleasure revolves around the physical element, moving things and opening doors to discover clues.
But now a new way has emerged to make them even more interactive and immersive than before – virtual reality (VR).
What is it?
Switzerland-based motion capture developers Artanim have created new technology which allows users to physically interact and collaborate in a virtual 3D environment. This multi-user virtual reality experience could take Exit Games to a whole new level. It premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
How does it work?
Infrared cameras are spread throughout the play area, sensor dots on key body parts track your movement and all players wear VR headsets.
Users see the game world from a first-person perspective, and as it is digitally created the scope for potential settings and storylines is huge.
What do the experts say?
“I think there is some [kind of] crossover between these mediums,” Kamal Sinclair, director of the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier Lab, tells Bryan Bishop for website The Verge.
“Between gaming and interactive, immersive theatre and escape rooms — all of it. You basically are designing for a generation of people that have grown up on the internet, which is a very different audience than those that came from linear and passive media.”
Escape Rooms usually have a theme or storyline, which lends itself well to this new storytelling tech.
What are the downsides?
This technology is still very new, and so the games which have been created for it are quite limited.
As it develops, it remains for insurers to decide whether the introduction of a headset increases or decreases the risk of personal injury – on the one hand, your real-world vision is impaired, but the presence of physical challenges is reduced.
Would you consider upgrading your Escape Room to incorporate VR technology?