Augmented & Virtual Reality News Source

Date night? Try virtual reality at Saskatoon ’boutique’ arcade

Date night? Try #virtualreality at Saskatoon 'boutique' arcade  #VR

  • The storefront is nondescript — a suite in a small office building — but step inside one of Caveman Media’s two virtual reality studios and you can be transported to another world.
  • The studios — two small, empty rooms — are transformed once a Caveman Media customer puts on a virtual reality headset and holds a set of controls in their hands.
  • Virtual reality games are becoming more accessible, both thanks to dropping prices for home systems and an increase in the number of businesses offering VR services.
  • Criticism of many video games comes from their isolating nature, but virtual reality is now moving toward interaction, Maher said.
  • Maher offers game play at Caveman Media, but hopes to branch out soon and build his own virtual reality programs for clients.

The storefront is nondescript — a suite in a small office building — but step inside one of Caveman Media’s two virtual reality studios and you can be transported to another world.

@RickKing16: Date night? Try #virtualreality at Saskatoon ’boutique’ arcade #VR

The storefront is nondescript — a suite in a small office building — but step inside one of Caveman Media’s two virtual reality studios and you can be transported to another world.

The studios — two small, empty rooms — are transformed once a Caveman Media customer puts on a virtual reality headset and holds a set of controls in their hands.

Virtual reality games are becoming more accessible, both thanks to dropping prices for home systems and an increase in the number of businesses offering VR services.

Jason Maher’s Caveman Media studio is the fourth such business to set up shop in Saskatoon, but he believes there’s room for even more VR arcades.

“This is a first place to start, letting people know what it’s like,” he said.

“I call it a curated, boutique virtual reality place.”

The future of virtual reality is almost impossible to predict, since the technology and its price points change so quickly.

Maher has planned accordingly, keeping his business small, and focusing on two-player games that allow users to play with and against each other.

Each player stays in their own room, or studio, and communicates through a headset with their partner. Together, they move through whichever maze of virtual reality they choose, as if they were standing right next to each other.

‘The technology’s really immersive, but then being there with a friend is a whole different experience.’ – Jason Maher, Caveman Media

Players can choose between several games, including a popular zombie-shooter game or mini-golf. 

Criticism of many video games comes from their isolating nature, but virtual reality is now moving toward interaction, Maher said.

“I’m going for a date night or bring your friend kind of thing. It’s co-operative virtual reality.”

Caveman Media opened as an arcade this summer, but Maher has been testing his products on friends.

Many sign up to play for an hour, but end up staying five or six.

So many hours of solitude could become problematic or addictive, but Maher thinks multi-player or “co-operative” virtual reality is a burgeoning work-around. 

“The technology’s really immersive, but then being there with a friend is a whole different experience,” said Maher.

After years working as a graphic designer for motion pictures in Toronto and Vancouver, he moved home to Saskatoon, only to discover a struggling movie industry.

Maher offers game play at Caveman Media, but hopes to branch out soon and build his own virtual reality programs for clients.

“If you think about training — virtual training or dangerous training — I think as industries see the use for this, it will become more and more popular,” said Maher.

“I’m thinking possibly getting into the real estate business because showing virtual floor plans would be a great way to not have to go places.”

The next step for virtual reality, though, is consoles being sold to individual consumers for home use, Maher thinks.

“It’s expensive right now but they’re shooting for a $300 price point,” he said.

All you need after that is a big, empty room — and maybe a friend to play with.

Date night? Try virtual reality at Saskatoon ’boutique’ arcade

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.