London’s Otherworld Might Just Be The Coolest-Looking VR Arcade In Existence
Dream Corporation’s “neon jungle” features 14 extra-sensory VR pods, a bar, and a poke kitchen.
Open now to the general public, Dream Corporation’s Otherworld VR arcade looks like something straight out of Tron: Legacy. Designed by architecture studio Red Deer, the futuristic space—once simple east London railway arch—now features 14 private VR entertainment pods, a self-service bar, as well as an up-scale poke kitchen.
When visitors enter the sterile white environment, they are immediately greeted to two identical rows of cylindrical pods, each of which housing an HTC Vive Pro set-up as well as extra-sensory and haptic feedback technology that can simulate heat, wind, various scents, even physical rumbling.
Each of these effects are synched to the players in-game actions across 16 titles: Beat Saber, Fruit Ninja, Racket NX, Space Pirate Trainer, Angry Birds VR, Electronaut, Fisherman’s Tale, Job Simulator, Accounting +, Google Earth VR, Moss, SUPERHOT, Arizona Sunshine, Raw Data, Tilt Brush, as well as Windlands 2, with more on the way.
Much like these sleek and modern cylindrical pods, the rest of Otherworld features a breathtaking minimalistic design that blends neon and natural lighting to create a pleasant, vaporwave-esque aesthetic. At the rear of the space next to the lounge is a self-service beer tap as well as the poke kitchen, offering guests a chance to take a break with some food and drink in-between sessions (because nothing says VR like raw fish). Inspired by renowned light artist James Turrell, Dream Corporation aimed to create an aesthetically-pleasing futuristic space that appealed to as wide an audience as possible.
“We wanted to create an immersive space suited to a wider demographic than those normally associated with the stereotypical carpeted games arcade from the 1980s,” said Red Deer founding director, Lucas Che Tizard, according to Dezeen. “By keeping the space minimal it made the lighting and soft hue fades the focal point of the project and gave it a feeling of a futuristic environment.”
It’s clear that when it came to the development of Otherworld, Dream Corporation was just as concerned with the arcades physical appearance as they were with the actual VR experiences they provided. Even the arcades servers received some love by fashion design graduate Brea Holloway, who outfitted the machines with padded white clothing based off the fashion of Samurai Warriors in Japan.
As VR arcades continue to grow in popularity and more facilities begin to sprout, the visual appeal of immersive establishments will only become more important as arcade providers attempt to differentiate themselves from rival businesses. By harnessing pop-culture interest in hyper-futuristic themes and design, Dream Corporation hopes to attract the attention of the general public as opposed to catering only to hardcore VR and gaming enthusiasts.
Otherworld is available now for booking over at other.world. Guests can reserve both 40 and 55-minute play sessions with prices varying depending on the date and time.
Featured Image Credit: Mariell Lind Hansen