Amusement parks and theme parks will see a good competition from virtual reality arcades in the coming years
Virtual reality, even though has been around for some years, is still a novel concept. It is a fully immersive experience that puts you in an alternate three-dimensional reality of your choosing where elements and digital objects are fun and interactive. Virtual reality has taken gaming to the next level and will bring back gaming arcades or parlours to the market to become a new mode of entertainment. It is predicted that it will follow the same pattern as video games did initially when they were too expensive to own, people used to flock the gaming arcades with their friends and family to get the experience for possibly a cheaper amount. For video games, from then to now, we have reached a place where all one needs is a smartphone to enjoy a multiplayer game while sitting in their own houses.
Virtual reality gaming equipment, no doubt, is expensive and hardware & software are still in the early stages of development with a lot of scope for improvement towards realism. We will see VR enthusiasts still shelling out the required money but the same cannot be said for the masses. This is where VR gaming arcades will come into play where families and friends will be able to get the first-hand experience and enjoy these immersive experiences together and then maybe upon familiarisation buy their own devices.
Some of the factors that will add to the reasons why people will invest in a VR theme park or an arcade are –
- A VR theme park requires less real estate, is easy to maintain and hence cost-effective. You do not require a very big space to open a VR arcade as opposed to opening an amusement park. With experiences and fun, all happening in a virtual world with the help of a VR head-mounted display (read: glasses), a space as low as 6 ft by 6ft per experience station works pretty well. It is easier to maintain this small technology-centric space as fewer employees are required, safety precautions are minimal and maintenance is easy.
- The post-2020 pandemic world will make sanitation and hygiene an important aspect of our daily lives, something that cannot be ignored at all. With VR arcade having less floor space and small equipment allows for easy sanitation and hygiene. Today, having large gatherings or stepping out for family outings is difficult as one fears for their loved ones, managing small crowd in a VR arcade is still easy to manage with stricter norms than one can apply at a widespread theme park. It is simpler to sanitise a small space periodically where the crowd is under control and manageable.
- Virtual reality is taking gaming to the next level by adding a crucial element of realism. Social VR immersive experiences will fetch the crowd to the VR arcades to become the next-gen hangout place! VR games now offer multiplayer experiences allowing for friends to play together. Imagine fighting out the zombies with your friends in vegas while physically being present in India!
- The ambience which can be created in a VR themepark will also act as a crowd puller. Gaming arcades with neon strobe lights, disco music, fast food and futuristic VR technology will help the theme park owners sell their service well!