Virtual Reality ROCKS!
Don't believe in video games? Can't bear your kids yakking on about virtual reality? You may change your mind after you've tried Rush VR. Ready Player One?
How are the summer hols going for you? If you’re like me you’re still stumbling blindly on, half trying to work, half dragging your children around on ‘experiences’ they don’t goddam appreciate?!! (*breathe breathe*)
That said, almost by accident I’ve just managed to give my kids a completely ‘sick’ day. I’m telling you this so that you too can be temporarily elevated from ‘middle-aged dumpy shouty driver person ‘ to cool parent, even if it is only for a morning.
So what’s the big deal? It’s RUSH VR people, and let me tell you it’s totally awesome. You’ll find it at Xscape in Milton Keynes which is fast becoming my go-to for when my children need mega-entertaining.
(But before I tell you about RUSH VR, a quick note about the Xscape Cineworld. Having waded across my local Odeon’s sticky carpets for the last few years, this Cineworld is like a high tech, glossy, blingin’ dream – check this out, people!)
Right then, onto the point of this feature. There is one, believe it nor not.
If you’re a regular Muddy reader you’ll know that I’m known to be draconian with my children about computer games, playing on phones, social media in general (yes that’s hypocritical, but sod it, it’s one of the joys of parenting) and anything that takes my kids from the real world.
Er, have you actually played a Virtual Reality game? They’re AMAZING! Rush VR offers three different types of games – a driving simulator, a maze, and a ‘cube’ where you can play games solo or with up to five others. First thing to say is if you’re not playing yourself and watching others it does look ridiculous – people shuffle around, moving their arms seemingly randomly, bending down to the floor for no reason, all wearing silly headsets and standing on a shop floor.
If you’re wearing a headset though, you won’t care. I was taken up in an evalator to the top floor of a building overlooking a city. It felt real. A plank of wood extended from the elevator to step out across the top of the city. I knew it wasn’t real. I knew I was standing in a shop in Milton Keynes wearing a silly headset. But my mind wouldn’t let me ‘step out’. It was fascinating.
By the time I’d moved onto exploring a Mayan ruin maze, battling with monsters and trying not to tumble onto rocks, I’d got the hang of it a bit, but managed a huge girly scream at the end of the maze (I won’t spoil it for you, but be prepared.).
Personaly I think the mazes are better for older kids rather than littlies – my 9 year old had a ‘get me out of here’ moment within seconds – here he is before he threw off the proverbial backpack, below.
Meanwhile, my 11 year daughter firmly knows what she won’t like and didn’t even bother! But they both loved the VR Cube games and the racing driving VR. No exaggeration to say they were totally buzzing with it.
It’s worth pointing out that these experiences are all relatively short time wise too, so it’s the sort of treat that can be done and dusted in half an hour – an add on to your day rather than the thrust of it. Prices are sensible too – a single race is £4.99 or head to head is £7.99; the VR cube is £7.99 for 15 mins up to a more wallet crunching £28.99 for an hour. Or my personal favourite, the maze, is £7.99 for one game or £20.99 for 3 games. (My advice is to nail it down with the kids what you’re willing to pay for before you go in, otherwise you’ll be dragging them out of there substantially lighter of pocket).
Finally, we were about to head off back home when a gorilla popped out of nowhere. How cool is this?!!
Clearly it’s a man in a suit, but what a suit – it really felt like a proper gorilla and he moved like an extra from Planet of the Apes. Apparently he pops out every Wednesday between 1pm and 3pm (1-1.20pm; 2-2.20pm; 3-3.20pm to be precise) as part of Xscape’s family offering to Survive The Summer. BTW head down there next weekend and there’s a giant inflatable Hungry Hippo’s course for you – I’m not even joking.
So there it is, entertainment at your finger tips. Ready Player One?
Xscape MK, 602 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3XS. Tel: 01908 357025.