Some of our students recently had the opportunity to visit the newly opened IMAX VR Experience Centre in Los Angeles to check out some top-of-the-line games, experiences, and more. I was lucky enough to tag along with them, and got to see some of these crazy new things myself.
Our students have been at the front of the line when it comes to Virtual Reality these past few months, and have been very impressive with their output. With short films such as THE HARVEST and alumni company Well Told specializing in VR, it’s no wonder that they want to see what is considered the latest and greatest.
The IMAX VR Experience Centre is basically the first of its kind: a location where people can come try virtual reality experiences in small dosages without having to buy all the expensive hardware. Now, for a fraction of the cost, people can spend a bit of time with the next level of entertainment without hurting their wallet. Located directly across the street from The Grove, it’s in the perfect location to have people scope out the latest in virtual reality.
This particular location is the first of a planned six by IMAX, with them branching off to China, New York, the UK, and more throughout the rest of the year. While most of the upcoming branches will be tied to movie theaters, whether in the lobby or taking over a room, the LA location is stand-alone. It has 14 VR “pods”, each one showcasing a different experience overall, and all using different types of headsets, from the HTC Vive to the StarVR.
The games offered ranged from Star Wars: Trials on Tatoonie, John Wick Chronicles, Raw Data, and tons more. Because of the set up of the “pods” each person plays in, you were able to walk around the designated space, within the game, to really immersive yourself into the world.
Competitive calls and cries of victory came often from the two pods showing off Eagle Flight, as two teams of three people were facing off each other in a game where they were all eagles, soaring high over the skies of a futuristic abandoned Paris.
And that wasn’t just from the students; plenty of professors were getting into the action as well. Roy Finch walked around a haunted house, Dan Leonard tried not to look down while doing The Wire, and Travis Knox and Madeline Warren got in on the action, too.
After spending about an hour and a half there, trying virtually every experience they had to offer, the students had an excited vibe. In fact, on the ride home, they already started discussing future projects, and what sort of things they could do to stretch the limits of VR.
All in all, it’s definitely worth checking out!
To check out the IMAX VR Experience Centre for yourself, visit them online at: http://imaxvr.imax.com/