Coin-operated arcades began to fade years ago.
But a new wave of virtual reality arcades could grow into a multibillion-dollar industry.
And the first one has arrived in the Fresno area.
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Its popularity has started to pick up, with children of various ages as well as teens and adults joining the action.
The virtual arcade allows people to experience what it might be like to be inside a video game.
Select a military mission that places you in the middle of a war zone, with enemies lurking and virtual gunfire coming from multiple directions.
Or maybe it’s a zombie apocalypse on the attack.
Or choose a more tame VR experience, where you’re in the depths of the ocean with turtles, fish and whales all around.
The virtual arcade offers scenarios that can feel so real.
Actually, you’re merely wearing a headset lens and headphones while standing in a 9-by-7-foot padded gaming station (the headset adjusts to allow people to wear their prescription glasses if needed).
The virtual arcade offers advanced gaming graphics and lenses compared to VR games available on a home console such as a PlayStation 4.
Cost to play at Imm3rse.in is $20 per hour or $12 for 30 minutes.
People can play individually or in multiplayer mode with groups as large as six – or online against others throughout the world.
Games available include Batman, Arkham VR, Space Pirate Trainer, Google Earth VR, Quiver, Arizona Sunshine and Rec Room.
Reservations are encouraged for bigger groups.
VR gaming is predicted to generate $45.09 billion in revenue by 2025, Forbes.com reported.
Imm3rse.in is open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY ARCADE IN FRESNO
- Location: 4010 N. Chestnut Diagonal in Fresno
- Hours of operation: 3-9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. Sunday
- Costs: $12 for 30 minutes or $20 per hour
- Games include: Batman, Arkham VR, Space Pirate Trainer, Google Earth VR, Quiver, Arizona Sunshine and Rec Room