When the young creator of the Kickstarter legend Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey, first started development of the virtual reality headset, he set out to build a gaming device that he dreamed would become the new standard for video games. Oculus Rift has been gaining quite a bit of steam among game developers and fans, but nobody could have expected one of the places that Oculus Rift would first see the light of day. It seems that the virtual reality headset will featured at the popular children's restaurant and arcade, Chuck E. Cheese's.
The new gaming device is expected to be set up in three different markets for a six week test run. The restaurants that will be graced with the new game are the Dallas, Orlando and San Diego locations.
"Kids today have unprecedented access to game consoles and tablets," said Roger Cardinale, president of Chuck E. Cheese's parent company, CEC Entertainment. "Our challenge is to deliver an experience not available at home, and there is no doubt virtual reality does just that. Oculus Rift technology is the next frontier in the gaming industry, and we're thrilled to be able to say it's part of the Chuck E. Cheese's lineup."
The device will have a virtual reality version of a popular Chuck E. Cheese game, Ticket Blaster. In the real world version of Ticket Blaster, kids would stand in a chamber and try to catch as many flying tickets as they can. The Oculus Rift version, developed by the effects studio Reel FX, will allow the kids to play the game in a virtual reality setting.
It may seem strange that Oculus Rift, which people are hoping will become the next big thing in video gaming, is getting its start at a pizza shop. However, Chuck E. Cheese's is no stranger to the world of technology outside of arcades. One of the founders of Chuck E. Cheese's, Nolan Bushnell, was also the founder of Atari. The company has also dabbled in apps with their augmented reality app for Chuck E. Cheese's guests.
Hopefully the adoption of Oculus Rift games by Chuck E. Cheese's won't relegate the new gadget to the world of arcades. With a successful Kickstarter campaign behind it, and a $2 billion purchase from Facebook, Oculus Rift could have potential, and it would be a shame for it to become just another entertainment gimmick.
Edited by Maurice Nagle