News Virtual Ventures Takes Players Into Virtual Reality Landscapes For Escape Rooms, Survival Games And More
For virtual reality games, the number one rule is to never rest on the surface you see in the game.
Virtual Ventures boss Michael Elliott reminds customers of this every time they stop by to enter a digital escape room or a zombie apocalypse survival game, but he still has to shut down after people keep tripping as they try to lean A virtual basketball arcade machine on a machine that doesn’t actually exist.
“The thing is, because it’s totally immersive, your brain plays a joke on you and you start to believe that everything is real,” Elliott said. “I always have to warn people – don’t lean against anything, like a wall or a counter, because you’re going to fall.”
Elliott said just six months after opening a brick-and-mortar location, the popularity of Virtual Ventures has grown faster than he expected.
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Open by appointment Wednesday-Friday 5-10 pm and Saturday-Sunday 11-10 pm at 1730 Wilkes Ave., Davenport, Virtual Ventures offers escape rooms, laser tag, survival games and more through virtual reality.
Time can be reserved on the Virtual Ventures website and by phone.
After reaching their time and going through a safety tutorial with Elliott, clients will enter the “arena” — an empty room in the space designed to allow the virtual reality software to read people’s positions in the room and in the game. Play. Then they put on the headset and hand controls and start hunting for clues, escaping zombies or defending their objective.
Elliott said he hopes to move from controllers to more clothing-based gear, like gloves, in the future. He also wanted to add leg rigs, since right now players don’t have them in VR.
Elliott said escape room and hero land software games are by far the most popular among young people and adults.
“We have escape room enthusiasts who will … drive two hours to try our escape rooms and things like that,” Elliott said.
Virtual Ventures began as a mobile unit, bringing equipment and tents to set up for parties and events when clients booked in. Elliott said it’s clear that permanent spaces will help grow businesses when people are constantly seen walking around and asking where they are.
The virtual reality gaming center is one of the first to move into the recently refurbished former Johnson Elementary School building in May 2022, and it took him, his wife Jessica Elliott, friends and volunteers six weeks to build the For those looking to play in the digital space.
“Everyone kept asking where we were now, so I said, ‘OK, let’s open a place,'” Elliott said.
Elliott still operates a mobile division for meetings and gigs and private parties if needed, but much of the business is now stationary.
Elliott, who grew up, went to school and is now a West End resident on Davenport’s West Side, said he is excited to bring business to the area. Local customers told him they also liked its location.
“I’ve been a Westerner for a long time, and it’s great to bring something from here to the West, because everything is always far, far away, and there’s nothing here,” Elliott said.
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