“If it gets too intense, close your eyes, raise your hands, and we’ll stop the game immediately,” says a man as he slides a headset over a woman’s eyes and hands her what looks like a gun.
The woman goes back to back with her partner, who’s got the same gear, and opens fire. These people are playing a virtual reality game. As she shouts out “Okay, I got ‘em! I got ‘em! I got ‘em!” it’s clear that this game is heavy on the reality.
Muckleshoot Casino is the first gaming establishment in the nation ushering their customers into the brave new world of VR.
And they’re betting on a Bellevue company – VRstudios – to be the tour guide.
“Anything you can imagine we can create,” said Brian Vowinkel, VP of Corporate Development for VRstudios.
“And we are the first casino that literally has a tethereless virtual reality game that you can play with your friends and family and come and have a great time.” Conrad Granito Jr., Muckelshoot’s GM said.
Anyone who’s drinking age – and willing to part with 5 dollars – can play. The casino has three games:
A wild west shoot-em-up called Barking Irons. An undersea experience, Planktos. And one where you battle the undead, called Time Zombies.
One thing players don’t battle – wires.
“This is the only system in the world that is untethered,” said Vowinkel. “Also the only multiplayer system in the world.”
The audience also gets in on the game, he explains.
“You can see the screens up here, the audience can observe what the people are observing and hear what they’re hearing, and it really makes a much more social experience.”
The casino – an early adopter – introduced the games in late 2016:
“Even people who were gamers came in and said this is very cool,” said Granito.
It’s hard to see how immersive this is without doing it yourself — but it’s easy to hear: screams from surprised players as zombies suddenly come out of nowhere are common.
“I love to hear squeals of fright or terror, when somebody looks behind them,” smiled Vowinkel.
Virtual Reality is no longer just something you read about in ‘Wired’. Now you can battle to the death at Muckleshoot Casino — as many times as you want.