VREX is located in Comox, by the intersection of Anderton and Guthrie. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Virtual reality comes to the Comox Valley

Two new VR gaming centres opened locally last month, coincidentally on the same weekend.

A video gaming revolution is underway in the Comox Valley.

Two virtual reality gaming centres opened for business last month. VREX opened in Comox on Oct. 27 and Spaces VR opened in Courtenay two days later.

Modern VR gaming systems feature a headset and two handheld controllers. The headset simulates a stereoscopic 3D environment and the handheld controllers allow users to interact with their surroundings through hand gestures.

It’s gaming on a level far more immersive than traditional console or computer systems.

“When you put that [headset] on, you’re not here anymore. You’re in the VR world,” said VREX founder and owner James Brown.

Both facilities in the Comox Valley feature similar games and simulators. Players can visit the Acropolis in Athens, shoot down spaceships, or use a virtual bow and arrow to protect their castle from being besieged. All in less than an hour.

For Brown — who used to work as a carpenter before a back injury forced a career change — the decision to open a VR facility in the Comox Valley was born out of a life-long desire to own a business and a love of technology.

But mostly, he said, it was through having two teenaged sons who felt their options for entertainment on the weekend were limited.

“The whole motivation behind this is that I have a couple of teenagers,” said Brown. “In the past, I’d say, ‘why don’t you guys go out and do something?’ and they’d say ‘but dad, there’s nothing to do.”

Spaces VR founder Matt Adamson’s interest in VR started roughly two decades ago when introductory systems were introduced in the late 1990s.

“The idea that you can put yourself in the computer and it would generate an alternate reality blew me away. It grabbed me,” he said.

After 15 years working as a financial translator in Japan, Adamson came back to the Comox Valley to launch his VR business this year.

“This became part of the plan of moving home. I’d been in Japan for 15 years. Coming home and doing this was all part of it,” he said.

While the facility is currently open, Adamson says Spaces VR will hold a grand opening on Dec. 2.

He said the first few weeks of business have shown there is a demand for VR in the Comox Valley.

“A lot of people have been coming in on the weekends and tons of people have been coming back,” he said. “The amount of return customers is really encouraging.

“For a soft open, the response has been very good.”

VREX is located at the intersection of Anderton Road and Guthrie Road, behind the Tim Hortons. Spaces VR is located at 29 Street and Cliffe Avenue, behind the Great Canadian Oil Change.

For information on the two businesses’ hours and prices, visit facebook.com/CVVREX/ or spacesvr.ca.

 

Spaces VR owner Matt Adamson. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Glacier View residents take a ride on the river

Ground Search and Rescue guides floaters on Puntledge

Brewing up some community engagement

Insp. Tim Walton says goodbye to the Comox Valley

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Most Read