Last weekend, I was able to experience what it felt like to be 80 stories high and freefall off a wooden plank. It was ultimately scary but it really let me push past some mental blocks that my mind configures. You’re probably shocked and wondering how I had the gall to do something crazy like that in real life. The key is: virtual reality, because I would never test my life like that!
As a fun Friday night outing, I went to Redline VR, Chicago’s first virtual reality club and bar. The atmosphere was warm and Chicago-like as realistic murals of the train and other art covered the walls. There is a bar in the center with sectioned booths for different parties wanting to experience another reality. There are projectors for each section showing what the person is playing, so that everyone can laugh and be involved in their experience. The workers were friendly as they explained how to use the Vive VR headset with the two controllers effectively in the small space.
Creed was the first game we played purely because of my newfound hobby–kickboxing. I laughed as I watched my friend struggle to beat the infamous Rocky playing as Michael B. Jordan’s character, Adonis Creed. When I got a turn, I understood her struggle because the game was terrifying. Everything seemed so up close, and my adrenaline started to kick in as the headset speakers had people cheering. I totally forgot that I was in Redline VR, because I was immersed into the world of Creed and immediately felt compelled to beat the sh*t out of my opponent. Okay, looking back I may have been relieving some stress, but it really showed me the power of virtual reality.
The other game that took me out of reality was Richie’s Plank Experience. This is where we all tried to walk out on a wooden plank 80 stories up then fall. This was the biggest mind game I’ve ever been through! I’m not sure how, but you could literally feel and hear the wood creak as you eased forward. My body immediately tensed up and wobbled even though I was on solid ground in real life. I even butchered up the courage to fall, but the game was glitching and it didn’t let me! That was super disappointing, but that’s the one downfall to virtual reality. It’s such a new concept and the games aren’t created by big companies, so glitches, stalls, and freezing can happen often.
For anyone that is looking for an extremely entertaining time, challenge yourself to virtual reality. You can ride roller coasters through a safari, kill zombies, fight Creed, or freefall from a building. There’s even more you can do, but you just have to see it to believe it. Redline VR was a great place to be even down to its chill vibe and interactive owner. Hit me up if you get to experience a different reality and let me know how YOU felt!
By Kyla Hubbard, Sophomore, Florida A&M University