Virtual Reality Mania: New arcade in Indianapolis provides thrilling experience in virtual reality


Sam Shi

HiLite staff member Alina Yu plays the “Chef” minigame in “Job Simulator.” Yu said that those not wearing the headset could also tune in to the action by watching what she sees from a nearby monitor.

The name of “virtual reality” literally means an unreal experience — yet my session playing virtual reality games at Altered Realities VR Arcade took me into a whole other universe. As an owner of a Samsung Gear VR that allows you to experience virtual reality through a goggle lens connected to a Samsung smartphone, I have stepped into alternate locations without leaving my bedroom before. However, being able to step into a variety of gaming fields at the arcade using the virtual reality gear gave me the amazing feeling of living in a whole separate world.

According to owner Robert “Brad” Spelman, Altered Realities VR Arcade is a virtual reality (VR) arcade that provides technological stimulations of 23 different games to play on a virtual reality set. These games include “Oasis Beta” from “Ready Player One,” “Project Rampage” based off the movie, and “Stand Out VR Battle Royale,” which is most similar to “Fortnite Battle Royale.” In its location, which opened this past March, there are 16 stations separated into 4 large spaces, each space including 4 VR sets. Each set includes a headpiece and two handheld controllers, as well as a television screen for guests and other players to see what you see through the VR headset. Furthermore, in each “pod” containing the 4 stations, each station is sectioned in 10 foot by 10 foot boundaries within the game. The facility contains plenty of space and availability for parties up to four to enjoy VR together.

Despite its somewhat hard to find location in Castleton, it was an amazing experience being able to play the VR games. After talking to Spelman, we headed over to the VR station named “Alpha 1.” At this station, Spelman helped me put on a easily adjustable headset that fit pretty smug; at times during the game the headset did slide and shift, but it was easy to tighten the head strap even during the game. Furthermore, the staff always switches out the cloth pad on the head gear to keep its equipment sanitary for your experience. After getting all of the gear, I immediately stepped into another realm, another dimension. The main game dock included the wide selection of games and settings controls, both in a cityscape setting. My first game was “Job Simulator,” which included multiple games within itself. I selected the chef feature and performed the tasks of cooking different meals. While the directions were easy to follow, it was great to receive help from Spelman and photographer Sam Shi who all watched what I saw from the television screen outside the station.

After “Job Simulator,” I played the game “Space Pirate Trainer.” As a not hardcore gamer, I had no trouble grappling the ropes of this more intense game of shooting down space drones using my controllers. The controls were especially easy to learn, as the Altered Realities staff provide an easy explanation of all controls and game modes before you step into VR. It was fun to play the game with people to cheer you on on the sidelines as adrenaline built up and the excitement rose with every level.

The visit to Altered Realities VR Arcade was a great and fun experience. Visit them and enjoy the VR universe with friends. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5