Even for the tech-savvy, virtual reality can still feel like a far-out concept. Uncharted Realities is seeking to change that.
"I've been following VR since Palmer Luckey launched his Kickstarter for Oculus, and the tech always blew my mind," says Jason Benninger, co-owner of Portland's virtual reality entertainment center. "But the VR itself wasn't accessible—a lot of the places we visited were a dollar a minute, which isn't great from a gaming perspective."
Opened downtown in late 2018, Uncharted Realities features eight stations with state-of-the-art Oculus and HTC headsets where players can choose from a list of 180-plus titles covering everything from sports to first-person shooters to escape-room puzzles. You can battle droids on the deck of a spaceship or fight off the lurching zombie hordes in the popular Arizona Sunshine, which is frightening in the way of those first Resident Evil games. A $19 introductory package helps players acclimate themselves to the VR world with the help of a staff member. From there, all manner of packages are offered, including several group deals.
Whether you're a hardcore gamer looking to experience the next big thing, trying to throw a non-boring office party or looking for a unique date spot, Uncharted Realities has you covered. And according to Benninger, that's the whole point.
"We wanted VR to be accessible to everybody," Benninger says, "and foster an environment where anyone could come in, try it out and have fun."