For decades, humanity has had a fascination with the concept of virtual reality.

There has always been a special place in the heart of every escapist for VR technology. Pop culture has its own infatuation with virtual reality, whether it’s Ready Player One or Sword Art Online.

Despite the concept of VR being pretty old at this point, it’s only in very recent years that technology has become both feasible and commercially available.

Photo via facebook.
Photo via facebook.

VRcadia is a new virtual reality hub on Richmond Row. With relaxing, almost zen-style decorations and several booths of VR headsets available for $30 an hour, VRcadia sets itself up to be an interesting experience from the get go.

Going downstairs into the lobby from the cold outdoors, lights on the staircases guide the way. and fake plants create a very natural vibe – far removed from the cold machinery typically associated with virtual reality environments.

More than games

“I think the media portrays virtual reality as being this isolating thing that people escape the world with, but it’s really more a community within it,” says VRcadia general manager, Daniel Kharlas.

He explained that he came from a mostly psychology background and initially got into VR hoping to use it with meditation classes. Kharlas and co. seem incredibly passionate about the non-gaming aspects of VR, including VR concerts, VR relaxation, and just poking around VR environments.

… But also games

The experience of using VR was pretty magical.

As soon as it stopped blurring, I was greeted by the image of a futuristic city lit with mostly pale blues. I could turn my head and easily see that I was on a low rooftop situated among taller buildings. To my left there was a floating menu, showing all the games I could play. They set me up with a pair of controllers precise enough in motion control to pick up my hand tremors, and let me go to town playing Beat Saber.

Photo courtesy of VRcadia.
Photo courtesy of VRcadia.

Beat Saber, for those who don’t know, is a game where two controllers in your hands appear to be two different coloured Lightsaber-like swords. From there, you slash those swords at incoming blocks with motion controls in time with the music playing.

It’s a lot of fun, and a crazy amount of exercise. I had seen videos of it before, but I didn’t realize the controllers actually vibrate to give feedback as if you really hit something with your imaginary sword. There is no disconnect between the game and reality, it just feels real.

If you’re up for some interesting technology showcased in a very sincere and open-minded way, I’d highly recommend giving VRcadia a try. There is far more to VRcadia than just gaming, and way more to be experienced through this new technology than you can possibly imagine.

Go show some appreciation for the future and the creative people driving it.

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