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Japanese Virtual Reality Nightmare

June 25, 2016

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OMG THIS WAS SO MUCH EPIC FUN AND TERROR BALLED INTO ONE!!!!

So, we heard about this pop-up installation by Bandai a few weeks ago when we saw a video of Japanese people screaming as they rescued cats. We were like…okay..what is this. It’s called the VR Zone Project i Can and it’s basically a pop-up arcade for new super realistic Virtual Reality (VR) games. It was our very first time doing VR Gaming so we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there, we could choose from a bunch of different games: skiing, driving a Japanese train, a mecha-gun suit airfight, racing in a car, rescuing a cat, and a horror game.

It’s different than regular VR gaming that I’ve seen, though, because the environments here are made to interact with the game you’re playing. For example, the skiing has actual moving skis that you have to use and the mecha-suit moves in a pod! So for the cat rescue game, you’re walking on a plank that is set up on a squishy surface so it actually feels like what you’re seeing through the VR set. Plus they set up a complicated fan system so that it feels like epic wind is blowing from super high up. For the horror hospital game, you’re sitting down in a chair and operating a joystick that feels like your’e using an electrical wheelchair, just like what’s in the game. You hold a flashlight that is a flashlight in the game. You can actually look down and see your hand holding a flashlight. It totally messes with your mind. We don’t want to give away what happens in any of the games since there are twists and turns that we didn’t actually show you. Also, if you play the horror game, it changes depending on if you play it more than once so you can go with different friends and still be freaked out!

Let me just say, it was super freaky. Super. Super. SUPER FREAKY! Very immersive and lots of fun. It is amazing how your mind just can’t tell the difference when it has ears and eyes seeing something that isn’t even real.

I will say, though, that my biggest issue with the VR experience wasn’t the horror game itself, but it was in doing it with Martina. Because the game was so immersive, when Martina was scared and screamed, I wasn’t afraid, but sad. Hearing my wife scream so sadly was a terrible experience. I wanted to protect her. I know now and I knew then that it was just a video game, but hearing her scared got an emotional response out of me that I couldn’t step away from. And it’s not something that was programmed into the game, either. I will say that’s a testament to the quality of it, for sure. It was legitimately scary. Virtual Reality felt more like Visceral Reality. But that’s a game that’s just not my kind of thing. I’d much rather have tried out the skiing game. And if the skiing game is even half as immersive a the horror hospital, then it’s probably ridiculously amazing. We heard people skiing and screaming and laughing so it looked pretty real as well!

So, in other words, the scary game was too good at being scary and I felt scared. HAHA! We’re such delicate flowers. If you want to experience this insanity, it’s located inside the Diver’s City Mall Japan 〒135-0064 Tokyo, 江東区Aomi, 1−1−10 which is actually an epic mall.

For those of you that want to check it out, we made instructions below since it was a wee bit confusing!

Please note: you have to be at least 13 years old to play AND you need to make reservations online beforehand to ensure a time slot for your playing. And hey, look at this: we made loads of screenshots with English instructions at the bottom that can help you make reservations. Click on the pictures and at the bottom we wrote the instructions.

Also note, you don’t have to pick your games in advance. You’re just making reservations here to be able to get in. Once you’re there, here are the steps:
1. Buy a reusable Bandai charge card the day for 300 yen (you can actually keep this card and use it at other arcades)
2. Head to the charging machine, put your card on it, and add money to the card itself in the amount of the game you want to play. (Each game costs something different. So, pick the game you want to play, add the amount that the game requires onto your card.)
3. When you get to the game, your card will be beeped, kind of like when you get on the subway. That’s it!

If any of you have ever played any VR, please let me know if it’s less terrifying than what we experienced. I watched Piewdiepie play some VR recently and he was terrified as well. Any good non-scary games out there?

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  1. FUN FACT! No more reservations needed, at least not for the moment. That might change in summer months with lots of tourists and people on vacation tho…well, hey, something for me to do next Tuesday instead of bum it around Tokyo alone ^^ Thanks for the awesome video and something fun to check out! 3 years in the inaka and I’m so ready for city life…

    2 years ago
    • Except for they’ve moved the permanent exhibit down to Nagakute City near Nagoya so maybe not…something to keep on the “things I should definitely do when I come back to visit my Japanese friends” list.

      2 years ago
  2. OMG I want to try this so bad!

    I’m easily terrified though that I probably would stop moving (in the horror one) or just start crying.

    I know your feels though Simon about Martina’s screams. I wanted to jump through my computer and give you both a hug.

    Thanks for putting up with this for us!

    2 years ago
  3. I wanna try these so bad! I can’t wait till virtual reality games are the norm, it’s gonna be insane! Dark Souls VR, guise!

    2 years ago
  4. Watching you both cross the plank to save the cat was really funny! Very brave! Haha. I wish I could have seen what the horror game looked like too, but I bet it was terrifying. I can’t wait till you both go to the Haunted House at the one park there that takes a full hour to finish! But then, it is probably too dangerous for Martina because you both might run.

    2 years ago
  5. Hi there Simon and Martina,
    This looks soo awesome :D do you know if its still there next year in april ? Since you say its a pop-up installation i guess it is just for a limited time ?

    BTW i love your videos !

    2 years ago
    • It’s limited in location. They still have it open down near Nagoya, but that’s quite a ways away from Tokyo, so unless you’re headed that way, it’s a bit out of the way.

      2 years ago
    • It is currently still up, but no reservation is required anymore. Just go to the front desk to buy whatever tickets you want for the rides.

      2 years ago
  6. I soooooo couldn’t do that! I can’t even watch horror games from a distance when someone else is playing them. Now if they had one where you could be in a game like final fantasy or Zelda or something like that, I would be totally in! I think the skiing one actually sounds fun though. I’m not sure that I could do the rescue the kitty one. I’m afraid of heights and I would probably just sit down and start crying or something. I have been known to crawl away from high places without even realizing that I had gotten down.

    2 years ago
  7. How much were the specific games you played if you don’t mind me asking

    2 years ago
  8. Step 10 of the instructions says to choose a date between one month, but we already chose a date in a prior step, I’m confused by that.

    2 years ago
  9. My partner makes VR environments … but happy, calm, relaxing environments … with cute fishes and stuff!

    I don’t like any of the VR environments where I have to look down … creeps me out SO bad!

    2 years ago
  10. OMGeeerd you guise were so authentically terrified that I felt so conflicted! I felt so bad when Martina, who looked so totally cute in her outfit rocking that hourglass figure!, was SO scared & screaming for her Ducky :( but I couldn’t help but laugh at Simon’s unreserved full-body screaming only because I knew that no matter how terrified you were, Simon, that you could recover quickly, *like a man!* So sweet your protective instincts for you lovely, adorable wife! Also, I LOL’d so hard at the Kitty Rescue because Martina was so caring & nurturing towards the kitty while you just grabbed it by its head, strangled & man-handled it back to safety all while screaming “Stupid Cat!” at the virtual kitty. I totally got you there: I’m HORRIFIED of heights & probably would have just been frozen at the end of the plank cuddling the kitty IF I even managed to make it that far. Congratulations, Sir — my VR hat is off to you ^_^.

    2 years ago
  11. I think the best VR experience going around at the moment is the Notes on Blindness one. It’s very powerful.

    https://youtu.be/UNXfj06xUgc

    2 years ago
  12. For anyone interested, I found the prices for each game:
    ① skiing Rodeo 700 yen (651 Banakoin)
    ② realistic drive 700 yen (651 Banakoin)
    ③ fear of heights SHOW 1,000 yen (930 Banakoin)
    ④ escape ward Ω 800 yen (744 Banakoin)
    ⑤ train Meister 700 yen (651 Banakoin)
    ⑥ Argyle shift 700 yen (651 Banakoin)

    2 years ago
  13. Haha super fun video! I’m glad you could point out that other YouTubers and such weren’t faking it. I’m curious since Simon is afraid of heights but also was screaming a lot during the horror game, which one do you think was worse and why? Sorry that you couldn’t help out Martina as much and comfort her :< I know I would be very scared as well.

    2 years ago