Ex­plor­ing a new vir­tual world

Vir­tual re­al­ity ar­cade lands in the val­ley


TAKE down a horde of killer ro­bots, visit a fu­ture hol­i­day spot across the other side of the world or peek over the top of a skyscraper with­out ever leav­ing the room.

These are just a few ex­pe­ri­ences of­fered by FEVR, a new vir­tual re­al­ity ar­cade that re­cently opened its doors in Gat­ton.

It’s as sim­ple as pulling a head­set over your eyes and en­ter­ing a whole new world.

With Cube Com­put­ers mov­ing into its new premises on North St in Septem­ber, the busi­ness took the op­por­tu­nity to bring a unique en­ter­tain­ment ex­pe­ri­ence to the Lock­yer Val­ley.

Owner-op­er­a­tor Meachelle Roelofs said it was only the third of its kind in south­east Queens­land, with oth­ers in Bris­bane and Surfers Par­adise.

“Ev­ery­one says there is no en­ter­tain­ment in the val­ley, but no busi­nesses are jump­ing on board to do any­thing be­cause it’s a risk,” Mrs Roelofs said.

“I fig­ured if we take the risk, and if it works, maybe some other busi­nesses will jump on board and we might get some new stuff around here.

“We want to do some­thing dif­fer­ent and this is more up our al­ley.

“There aren’t any oth­ers close by. We’re hop­ing to try and pull in some tourism as well.”

The ar­cade has a top-of-the-line set-up with three HTC Vive vir­tual re­al­ity sys­tems tak­ing cen­tre stage.

There is room for the busi­ness to add an­other VR sys­tem or even a cou­ple of rac­ing sim­u­la­tors, de­pend­ing on de­mand in the com­ing months.

Any­one older than eight can give it a go, with some vis­i­tors al­ready hooked and some reg­u­lar cus­tomers in their 60s.

FEVR has ac­cess to more than 230 games rang­ing in style from shoot­ers to ad­ven­ture and ar­cade but keep 30 loaded at a time with reg­u­lar ro­ta­tions to freshen things up.

The re­cep­tion so far has been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive, with the head­sets mostly booked out dur­ing the re­cent school hol­i­day pe­riod.

Mrs Roelofs en­cour­aged the com­mu­nity to give it a go and sup­port the unique ven­ture to en­cour­age other busi­nesses to think out­side the box.

While shoot­ers and ad­ven­ture ti­tles are pop­u­lar with a younger au­di­ence, older cus­tomers have plenty to choose from too.

Some games take you on an un­der­wa­ter dive and Google Earth of­fers the op­por­tu­nity to walk down a street in a for­eign coun­try to check out a pos­si­ble hol­i­day desti­na­tion.

Book­ings are best done on­line by vis­it­ing the FEVR web­site.

“We have the couches here too be­cause it’s a lot of fun to watch. I sit here laugh­ing most of the time,” Mrs Roelofs said.

FEVR will hold an of­fi­cial open­ing this Fri­day and Satur­day with prizes, demon­stra­tions, give­aways and the chance to try out the tech­nol­ogy for free.

❝ I fig­ured if we take the risk, and if it works, maybe some other busi­nesses will jump on board.

— Meachelle Roelofs

FUN AND GAMES: Am­ber Roelofs is put through her paces at the FEVR vir­tual re­al­ity ar­cade.

The ar­cade in Gat­ton is one of only three in south­east Queens­land.

They are set up with three HTC Vive vir­tual re­al­ity sys­tems.

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