York’s first Virtual Reality arcade is about to open – and you can try it for free

York’s first Virtual Reality arcade is about to open – and you can try it for free
8 Feb 2019 @ 5.57 pm
| Entertainment

This is what you could be doing from tomorrow in York.

The city’s first virtual reality arcade opens on Saturday (8 February) and Beat Saber – pictured above – is set to be one of the most popular games.

Play It VR, on York Road, Acomb, is the brainchild of couple Kate Nolton and Mike Creedon.

It has six booths. People can book to play in 30 minute increments, don the HTC Vive VR headset, and then choose to play from a whole range of different games.

But you can try for free on Saturday (8 February), with shorter taster sessions, between 9.30am and 8.30pm.

How it works

The booths at Play It VR

When you book a session, they will take you to the booth and fit you with the VR headset.

From there it is easy to scroll through the games you want to play. And you can try as many as you like in the time.

The games are classified by age – any, 6+, 7+, 10+, 12+ and 18+.

Any problems, you press the help button in the booth to summon a member of staff.

Location-based VR is the way forward for gaming, says Kate:

  • There’s the social aspect – how you can play with your friends.

    Even if one of you is playing and your friends are watching on a monitor outside it’s still an involvement, a social activity.

    That’s the excitement of it all.

Kate says they have lots of ideas of how to develop things once Play It VR is up and running – including tournaments and a VIP club where people get to try new software and games early.

The games

Playing VR games “is a whole other world,” says Kate.

There’s a whole variety of titles to choose from. Some are aimed at all ages, including Beat Saber – with this you have to slice flying boxes with your light sabres in time to the music.

“There are lots of scary games, featuring zombies and things like that,” said Kate.

“For people who play them on ordinary consoles, this is a whole new level of scariness.”

They decided to open the arcade after Mike said he’d love to play VR games at home.

But they couldn’t afford all the kit. “And I said, it’s a shame there’s nowhere you can go, pay some money and use it for a bit.”

Sessions are priced at £14 for 30 minutes and £24 for an hour. There are also discounts for after-school (3pm-5pm Tuesday to Friday) and group bookings.