New virtual reality lounge is a game changer in the world of arcades

Published: Feb. 11, 2018 at 10:21 PM CST
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A new virtual reality lounge called NexGen V.R. in Panama City Beach is helping arcades level up.

"When you're standing here, you don't see a whole lot in the arcade, but once you put on our headset, you see the arcade is all the way around you... You're actually in the virtual world. You're in there, it's above you, below you, all the way around you, and our units actually track you up to one mm, wherever you're at, as fast as you're moving, so you can duck, dodge, move around, step, wherever you're at, you're good," NexGen V.R. Owner Richard Stephens said.

Virtual reality is a computer-generated scenario that simulates a realistic experience.

Stephens said this is only the second V.R. arcade in Florida, but it's the future of amusement and gaming.

"Well first, arcades died because of consoles. The main thing we're trying to do here is bring arcades back so kids have a place to go, people have a place to go, get some competition and some fun stuff... Pretty soon, most all of your events, boxing, sports, football, all of that, you'll be able to log in on virtual reality and go anywhere you want in the stadium and actually look all the way around, you'll be able to sit with the team on the bench and look around. They're working on all of that right now. Plus in the medical field, automotive, military, everybody's picking it up, it's a whole new atmosphere for gamers," Stephens said.

Virtual reality headsets can be bought at electronic stores for use at home, but studies show more and more teens are choosing to experience virtual reality at an arcade because it's less expensive.

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