You know those days, where you literally don't know what to do?
It’s one of those days, where you literally don’t know what to do. It’s raining outside. Not the kind of rain that’s OK to walk through, but the kind that tries to dissolve you, the second you open the door and step into it?
Well this was EXACTLY one of those days. Suddenly, I remembered, at the back of my frustrated mind, something a friend told me about, to wow friends and family, and the decision was made!
So there we were, making our way to the heart of Birmingham, UK. Our destination being across between a residential building and a business park.
Climbing into a very small elevator, we went up a couple of floors, arriving in a room where you could be transported, well, anywhere!
I am talking about Matrix VR. A small, Virtual Reality Experience business; with top of the range equipment and staff dedicated to making VR ‘real’. They set you up, adjust the goggles, perfect the headphones, ensure wires don’t get in the way, help to load the chosen experiences and use props to make it an exhilarating, fun time. For the more nervous in the group, they are also there to catch you if you ‘fall’!
I will let you into a secret… I have never had a VR headset on before… and it wasn’t what I expected at all.
I visited with a mixed group of adults and kids, young and old and I can honestly say that every single person had an absolute ball!
Separating into 2 teams (that just happened to end up Boys vs Girls… co-incidence??), we took it in turns to don the Oculus Rift headsets and hold the dual handsets: our gateway to the digital world we were about to explore.
Everyone chose very different games, including various shooters, outer-space, zombies and even running a small corner shop. Amid shouts, laughter and a lot of wobbling, ducking and rolling, all had an amazing time. Even when it wasn’t your turn, watching was hilarious and entertainment in itself.
However, there was one experience I want to share!
As you all know, elevators are a favoured build for me, so of course I I had to pick the game with the elevator!
Climbing into my ‘virtual’ elevator (it felt mightily real to me), I nervously pressed the button for, I think, floor 6.My knees buckled as I was whisked through sights and sounds that made me feel I was climbing.
Suddenly the door slid open and I was faced with an interesting scene.
As the door opened, Floor 6 appeared to be “unfinished”. With just a single wooden plank poking out from the elevator door. Bearing in mind I have a heady fear of heights, and am not wearing my Elytra, this was where it got odd!
I know I am in a completely secure room with a floor, four walls and a group of friends and family giggling (as they watch the monitor that shares what my current world is).
I know there is not just a 4 inch plank of oak separating me from my certain doom stories below and yet my brain simply refuses to believe what I know to be reality. Suddenly the sound of the wind whistling past my ears is real.
I try to tell myself to feel reality and look down. I see many, many metres below me cars and people on the streets below… My heart begins to beat a little faster.
Then, to make things worse, a box of donuts is placed at the end of the plank!
My Mission? To eat a delicious digital donut!
So out I edge, along what I discover later was a carefully placed plank. With my arms flailing and my sense of balance being tested, like I’m a tightrope walker, I hear myself whimpering like a child; scared of falling to his doom, from an open elevator onto the road below.
It seemed like a reasonable fear. My onlooker friends, however, just thought it was hilarious.
After what seemed like half an hour, but later was revealed to be less than a minute, I managed to edge my way along the plank and reach the prize. I just had to reach out and take a taste of that doughy goodness.
For a moment, I was victorious, punching the air with satisfaction. Then, there came a noise behind me….
This noise is not the kind of noise you want to hear when balancing on a small flat piece of wood hanging over oblivion…
It was… the sound of a saw!
Slowly and balancing carefully, I turned around.
The last face I saw was that of a clown, that clearly had a second job as a carpenter.
I don’t think he liked me!!!
That wasn’t the end of it, but I don’t want to spoil what was a really great experience with Matrix VR, should you decide to go yourself someday!
I thoroughly recommend it!
I received no payment for this post and the opinions expressed are simply my own.