Sometimes, even in a place as awesome as Shanghai, the real world just doesn’t cut it. Thank goodness for virtual reality, then. Getting away from the crowded streets is as easy as slipping on a fancy headset at a virtual reality arcade.
Granted, getting your own VR setup at home is easier than ever before, but maybe the price is still too much of a splurge-spend for you, or your apartment doesn't have enough space to keep you from walking into walls. Maybe you just want to try before you buy. In other words, VR arcades still have a reason to exist.
Around Shanghai are a slew of spare office spaces and apartment blocks converted into game rooms where you can pay by the hour to plug into the Matrix yourself. Since the VR craze has cooled a bit in the last year, these barebones VR arcades have outlasted the fancier joints, like Star Core VR. If you can get past the sometimes dingy or hard-to-find locations, Shanghai’s virtual reality arcades definitely promise an unconventionally fun evening.
Most locations will feature the same software and game selection: an extensive library of English and Chinese games that range from zombie killing to skiing to archery. Standouts included BeatSaber, an addictive rhythm game where we slashed blocks in time to music in a cross between Star Wars and GuitarHero, and Tilt Brush, a trippy art package that allowed us to draw patterns and shapes around the room in 3D space.
Part of the fun is, of course, watching friends stumble through a virtual world from the outside. And with all the action displayed on TV screens, filming each other getting jump-scared by virtual monsters makes for quality video clips.
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