The Denver Museum of Nature and Science now has a virtual reality arcade. The arcade has two parts: a series of booths where you can play individual virtual reality games and a virtual reality ride called the transporter. The VR arcade is a separate charge from regular museum admission ($19.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids if you are not a member of the museum).
To play the VR games you must be 10 or older. A ten minute session on the VR games is $8 for non-member adults and $7 for members. Kids (anyone under 18) are $7 for non-members and $6 for members. The booths allow you to choose from a menu of twelve games. I played Job Simulator, Hang Glider, and Plank Not Included.
When you first step in the booth the VR attendant puts VR goggles over your eyes and gives you two handheld controllers. You control your character’s movements using the handheld controllers and your body. For example, in Hang Glider the attendant brings in a chair for you to sit on then the game gives you the option of controlling your hang glider with either your head or handheld controllers. For all of the games it will feel a bit disorienting at first to move in virtual space, but you get used to it pretty quickly. Once I got the hang of it, I loved the experience of really feeling like I was in a different world. It helps to have good balance and a good grip on the tethered controller. The VR attendant told me that the most popular games are Beatsaber, Job Simulator and Pirate trainer.
The VR transporter looks like a roller coaster car, and moves a bit like one, too. In order to ride it, you must be more than 42 inches tall. When it is your turn on the VR transporter, you sit down and buckle up while the attendant lowers a rollercoaster like bar. As with the games, you are given a VR headset. There are only two choices for a VR transporter experience – under sea or space. If you are in a group when you ride the VR, your group must agree on one option. Both modes are exhilarating; you really feel as though you are an astronaut or a submarine pilot. The VR transporter has a 4 minute experience time and is also equipped with a emergency stop button for those who feel nauseous or just plain freaked out.
For those with a tight schedule, it would make sense to avoid the VR arcade during its most popular times on weekend mornings (9am-12pm) and during school breaks. During these times, there will be a line for both the game booths and the transporter.
The VR arcade and transporter were both worth the wait and a great experience. You should check it out!