A new business in Baxter is bringing a new form of media immersion to the Brainerd Lakes Area. VR Odyssey, a new virtual reality arcade, is the first of its kind in the area and one of the only VR arcades in Minnesota outside of the Twin Cities.
Stand on the edge of a skyscraper, battle virtual monsters, or hang glide through mountains are just a few of the things you can do all from the comfort of a studio in Baxter thanks to virtual reality.
“Being able to fly over a city, that’s one of our most popular ones. Some of them are facing down people’s fears. Kind of like standing before a giant spider approaching you,” said VR Odyssey owner Nick Sucik.
VR Odyssey opened in Baxter in the beginning of June and during open hours, patrons can visit the parlor and try out the technology.
“I was in Washington state where somebody had opened one of these and I was telling my folks back home about how it was unlike anything else I’ve ever done,” explained Sucik. “And they said maybe we should bring that to Brainerd. I thought they were joking and four months later, here we are.”
Virtual reality uses a headset to simulate and create immersive environments that make the user feel as if they are actually there. The headsets have two screens that trick your brain and create and authentic, 3D experience.
“When you move your head, you are moving your head in an actual digital space and it hijacks the brain. You become convinced that you’re in that space facing whatever entity or creature, or whatnot, is before you,” added Sucik.
When people try virtual reality for the first time, many say it is unlike anything they have ever experienced.
“I liken it to when a little kid is watching a scary movie and you say, “It’s just a movie, it’s not real,” well you’re back in that place again. Your brain is going to be taken over by this visual sensory experience and you have to intellectually tell yourself it’s not real,” Sucik said. “Because your instincts are screaming at you.”
The possibilities for the future of virtual reality are endless, and VR Odyssey hopes to be able to make it possible for people in the Brainerd Lakes Area to be in the forefront of the new and evolving technology.
“In addition to running, hopefully, a successful business, we are looking forward to being a way to engage with the community in offering, not just a glimpse of a new technology but a way to get on to a new rising technological phenomena,” said Sucik.
This content was originally published here.