GREENVILLE — For those wanting an escape from reality, head on down to Doug’s Arcade, in Greenville, for the latest in Virtual Reality (VR).
Owner Doug Barger, of Wayne Lakes, has a new experience for young and older alike. A VR system, Vive, transcends people into another world. A computer starts the games, but a headset makes it happen. Once the Vive headset is on, an unbelievable experience takes place.
“I don’t have any words to describe virtual reality,” Barger said. “You have to experience it – it’s the only way.”
To get to the VR room, people pass by the older games in Barger’s inventory, where there is something for everyone. He treasures the old games, such as a 1950s “Ski Alley” or the vintage “Pitch and Bat”. Moving on folks will find “Pac-Man” and some older versions of VR.
“All ages come in, and I think the people who have the most fun are the little kids and the old people,” he said. “They remember some of those old machines from their youth and they share that with their grand kids.”
Once folks are hooked up to the VR headset, Barger sits at the computer chaperoning the experience. Out of 35 games, he loads the game of choice. One game, “God of Arrows,” is a VR tower defense game where the player takes the role of an archer, defending a castle against the forces of evil. The solo play takes two controllers to fight through endless waves of monsters.
Another game “FIREBIRD – La Péri” enters the players into a realm of enchantment, where they play the role of “Iskender”, a prince seeking the “flower of immortality”. Players appear on the stage, visit the ethereal world of “La Péri”, and witness a magical and poetic encounter as one of the characters. As the player tries to take possession of the precious flower, guardian spirits gradually appear.
As the players are in the VR realm, in addition to Barger watching everything, the Chaperone Guidance System keeps folks within the bounds of the play area. Stunning graphics make it feel so real and surreal, at the same time.
“It doesn’t make you sick, because it moves right with you,” he said. “You aren’t seeing the real world, you are seeing the world that we are providing for you.”
Barger’s price for VR is $5 for 10 minutes or one hour for $25. But he builds his clientele by allowing folks to try the VR for free.
“That is the only way people will know what it is like,” he said.
Barger is a technician, with a degree in electronics. For 25 years before he opened the Arcade, he repaired televisions. Because of his love for the gaming experience, he started repairing and collecting arcade games. He believes the sharing of the experience is what makes it fun.
“I think parents have gotten into the habit of saying, ‘We have Nintendo at home’,” he said. “When they come in here, kids commonly beg their parents to come back. They like the games, going back – and – forth between the games, and interacting with their friends. They have the best time, because they are sharing the experience with someone else.”
Doug’s Arcade is located at 402 S. Broadway Street, in Greenville. He has partnered with the Merchant House and Chillz Frozen Yogurt to host birthday parties. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/DougsArcade/
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.