Virtual reality arena to transport players to alternate worlds

Published 9:00am 22 March 2023

Virtual reality arena to transport players to alternate worlds
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A new virtual reality attraction is set to open in Moreton Bay this week, which will transport people of all ages into alternate worlds filled with creatures like aliens and zombies.

The new family-friendly, high-tech experience will open to the public on Thursday, March 23 in Lawnton at Arena 21, which was previously known as Drone Games.

Darren Stone and his future son-in-law Wes Brughuis have spent the last seven months preparing to launch the new virtual reality arena, after partnering with a Belgian virtual reality company called The Park Playground.

As of Thursday, Arena 21 will become The Park Playground’s first Australian venue.

“We are really excited to bring virtual reality to the Moreton Bay community,” Darren says.

“We wanted to bring in a wide range of new experiences for families to enjoy right here in their own backyard without the need of having to travel into Brisbane.

“One of the great things about virtual reality is its very accessible, so people of all ages and abilities can take part in the fun.”

Virtual reality arena to transport players to alternate worlds

How it works

VR is a computer-generated environment that has ben designed with scenes and objects that appear to be real. This in turn makes the user feel like they have been transported into a different world because they are so immersed in their surroundings.

Throughout the experience, each player wears a pair of headset goggles and roams freely inside a purpose-built arena. Everything is mapped so people don’t run into walls or other players.

The experience is 100 per cent mobile and run through Wi-Fi.

“Virtual reality has come such a long way in a short amount of time,” Wes explains.

“Before this, each player used to have to wear backpacks which essentially had the hard drives in them, and there were wires that ran up to the headset.

“The technology has now changed so much that the experience can run off Wi-Fi connections because the experience is essentially stores in the cloud and then connected to the headset.”

Virtual reality arena to transport players to alternate worlds

Three experiences on offer

Arena 21 will have three experiences for people to try. 

These include:

  • Mission Planet X – A Sci-Fi mission where players need to fight hostile aliens to find the Energy Crystal to help the energy crisis on Earth.
  • Don’t Scream – A terrifying VR escape room full of shocks, scares and surprises.
  • Mask of the Pharoah – A VR experience full of puzzles.

Regardless of whether you have tried VR before or not, Wes is encouraging people to come on down and have a go.

“You won’t really know what to expect until you put the headset on, but as soon as it goes on, you are instantly transport into another world,” he says.

“It’s an experience that you would usually have to travel up to 40 minutes for, but now it’s right here at people’s front door in the heart of Moreton Bay.”

Virtual reality arena to transport players to alternate worlds

How to book

Bookings are now open can be made via the Arena 21 website.

At the time of booking, players can choose what experience they would like to try.

Up to eight players can enter the arena at one time.

People can still use the drone arena as well, which is adjacent to the virtual reality arena. 

Find them at Unit 21/31/79 Paisley Dr, Lawnton. 

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