Would You Go to a Virtual Reality Café? Soon, Bostonians Might Be Able to

An attendee tries on the Oculus VR Inc. Rift Development Kit 2 headset at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California June 11, 2014. There has been a rising interest in virtual reality platforms among publishers and developers, who hope the years-old technology -- which creates a 360-degree view that immerses players in fantasy settings -- can finally become a viable platform to reverse shrinking video game industry revenues and draw a new generation of users. Picture taken June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
An attendee tries on the Oculus VR Inc. Rift Development Kit 2 headset at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Publishers and developers hope the years-old virtual reality technology -- which creates a 360-degree view that immerses players in fantasy settings -- can become a viable platform to reverse shrinking video game industry revenues and draw a new generation of users.
REUTERS

A virtual reality café might be heading to Kenmore Square, if entrepreneur Nick Lee has his way.

According to Lee’s fundraising page on IndieGoGo, a crowdfunding site, Good Game Café would offer Bostonians virtual reality and PC games, weekly social events, tournaments, and food and drink.

Lee says on the funding site that he lived in Asia in 2012 and noticed that PC gaming was a popular trend among young people there. His goal is to bring the form of social entertainment to Boston’s large population of young people, but with an additional feature: virtual reality games.

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Though the initial start-up cost is $50,000, Lee says that the café will feature The Virtuix Omni and Oculus Rift, two virtual reality games that some gamers cannot afford to have at home. (The Omni costs $499.00 and the Rift will set you back $350.00).

According to The Omni’s website, the game is “the first virtual reality interface for moving freely and naturally in your favorite game,” meaning users can walk and run around virtual worlds using their own feet.

Where can you go (virtually) using Omni?

The game’s website says it can be used for fitness and training, tourism, and trips to tradeshows, concerts, museums and architecture.

According to The Rift’s website, the product features “low latency 360 degree head tracking,” which means users can do a full turn-about in their virtual world and “every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real time.”

At the moment, Lee has a lot of headway to make in the fundraising department: On Kickstarter, he has a goal of $25,000 by August 13, and currently has only three backers who have pledged a total of $11. Luckily, he still has 56 days to draw support.

His IndieGoGo page says he has a goal of $50,000 by August 11. According to The Boston Business Journal, however, the 32-year-old has already put forth $10,000 of his own money toward the project.

Would you go to a virtual reality café?

Lee says on IndieGoGo that the socializing aspect of gaming (which is lost on players who game in the glow of their TV screens at home), is what could make his business venture a success.

The Good Game wesbite’s “weekly events” page says the café would feature Sunday “Movie & TV Show Night,” Thursday “Ladies Night,” Friday “Fight Night Tournaments,” and more.

The café is an interesting concept, and gamers seem to be looking for something fresh: According to BGR, May 2014 was the first period in six months where software sales haven’t seen a decline.

Boston Business Journal reports that Kenmore Square is Lee’s ideal spot, so keep an eye out for a new potential place to get your caffeine fix while fighting crime and scaling mountains...virtually, of course.