If you haven't heard of it before, The VOID is an incredibly immersive virtual realty experience that's available in eleven U.S. locations and four international locations at the time of this writing. For any Disney-goers, two of those locations are just outside of the Disney parks in Orlando (Disney Springs) and Anaheim (Downtown Disney). The company has some aggressive expansion plans in the works that will result in at least 25 VR centers over the next two years. So keep an eye out if you're anywhere near a big city! The rigs used in the VOID, which they call Rapture Rigs, are completely untethered VR setups with a vest that provides haptic feedback and a helmet that provides incredibly detailed 3D visuals and dynamic sound. And depending on the experience you choose, you might have a weapon to use as well. Unlike other VR setups you might have seen, the experiences in the VOID require you to move through rooms, open doors and interact with the environment around you. They mix video game like action, puzzles, environmental effects and a unique story into a truly exhilarating experience that lasts about 15 minutes (30 minutes, including the setup and instructions). You can play in groups of up to eight people, depending on the experience.
Following up on the teaser that was dropped back in August, The Void has officially announced that a new Avengers-themed VR experience will be launching on October 18th, 2019 at Disneyland. No word yet on when it will be coming to other locations. Developed through collaboration with Marvel and ILMxLAB, Avengers: Damage Control will be an interactive adventure based on a theme that fans of the Iron Man and Black Panther franchises have been discussing for some time. Wakanda’s technological genius, Shuri, is testing battle suits that combine both Wakandan and Iron Man technologies. You’ll wear one of these prototype suits inside the VR environment, interacting with Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and at least one “familiar” villain. Watch the recently released trailer below.
My personal favorite VOID experience so far has been the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience, which I believe takes place on the small volcanic planet of Mustafar. In a nutshell, you're raiding a Imperial outpost disguised as a stormtrooper; you are discovered in the process and then have to fight your way out. When you step outside the base into the "open air" of the planet, you can actually feel the heat rising from the lava below. Coupled with the fact that you can interact with and touch anything in the environment, the whole experience kind of blew my mind. To add the the realism, you and your teammates are proportionality sized avatars in the VR world. Seeing my son as a 4-foot tall stormtrooper was absolutely hilarious. I hope all VR systems can be like this some day.