Time Out (Melbourne) - - THINGS TO DO -

I’M STAND­ING ON the edge of a wooden plank jut­ting off a sky­scraper 80 storeys above a city. I look down at the rooftops, streets and cars, and my hands be­gin to sweat. Then I hear a voice telling me to jump off the plank. I close my eyes for a sec­ond, brace my­self, and take a leap – scream­ing as the ground rushes up to meet me. Of course, in the real world, I’m stand­ing in a small room above a book­shop in Fitzroy. var­cade is the brain­child of Owen Spear, who is also the man be­hind Mel­bourne’s firstever es­cape room. Par­tic­i­pants wear VR gog­gles and head­phones and carry one con­troller in each hand (which, in the vir­tual world, be­come your arms). The Va­ri­ety Pack­age is a gen­tle in­tro­duc­tion to VR, where ex­plor­ers dive with whales, visit Ta­tooine and shoot ar­rows atop a me­dieval cas­tle. The Thrill Seeker Pack­age gets a lit­tle more in­tense, kick­ing off with the plank sce­nario, then mov­ing onto a roller­coaster ride that sees me scream­ing with my hands in the air. (Full dis­clo­sure: there is a zom­bie game, but I couldn’t bring my­self to play it.) The fi­nal VR pack­age drops par­tic­i­pants into the mid­dle of the world of sci-fi an­i­mated com­edy Rick and Morty. ■ Rose John­stone

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