Brainerd Area News

What an Incredible Virtual Reality Experience Right Here In Baxter


I have had the opportunity over the years to try an amazing technology called virtual reality.

My first experience came about 19 years ago when we took the kids to Disney World. I was selected out of a crowd to try some new technology. I had to sit on a very large device that looked like a motorcycle without wheels, and had to put on a very large helmet/visor with a number of cables coming out of the back of it. This happened shortly after the release of the original animated movie “Aladdin”. I was soon transported to a cartoon world where I was riding a magic carpet through the streets of Arabia and interacting with the cartoon inhabitants. It was amazing!

A couple of years ago, while attending a National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, I took in the virtual reality café they had as an exhibit. I had a chance to try the “Oculus Rift” virtual reality, which was cool, but not very interactive. It involved the standard VR goggles and headphones and a vest that vibrated with what I was seeing in the program.  I also tried the virtual reality movie experience, where you wear the VR goggles and sit in a swivel chair. This allows you to be in the movie and as you turn in any direction, the movie is taking place all around you. Cool stuff!

Now the really good news. There is a new virtual reality experience right here in the lakes area! It’s call Virtual Reality Odyssey, and Tess and I had a chance to check it out. All I can say is we were blown away!!! Tess was worried about what would happen, so she went with one of the “tame” experiences that takes you to an underwater world. She said it was so real, she was freaking out!

I tried an experience call “Richie’s Plank”. Wow!! I was walking the plank off a sky-scraper and it was crazy!! Then I tried a game where I could fly like Ironman, but I was a firefighter in a metro area and had to fly to fires and put them out all over the city. It was fantastic!!!

There are so many “worlds” to choose from, and if you go with your family or friends, they can watch on a screen what the person in the virtual reality is experiencing.

Virtual Reality Odyssey gets “two thumbs up” from Ken and Tess!

You’ll find them next to Boomer’s Pizza in Baxter by Cub Foods.