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VR's next frontier: Chuck E. Cheese's?
May 20, 2014 | By Christian Nutt




Today, Chuck E. Cheese's announced that it has plans to test-market an Oculus Rift-based experience at several of its kid-friendly, attraction-based restaurants, called the Virtual Ticket Blaster -- a game that lets the birthday boy or girl collect prize tickets virtually, rather than physically.

The game was created by Chuck E. Cheese's partner Reel FX, and you can see it in action in the video above.

What lured the company into trying the new tech? "Kids today have unprecedented access to game consoles and tablets. Our challenge is to deliver an experience not available at home, and there is no doubt virtual reality does just that," Chuck E. Cheese's president Roger Cardinale said in a statement announcing the news.

Chuck E. Cheese's was started by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell in the late 1970s as arcade games were about to boom. The chain offers "games, rides, prizes, food, and entertainment," according to its website, and is most popularly visited as a venue for kids' birthday parties.

While this might not be exactly what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had in mind when he said "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate," it certainly points to more mainstream possibilities for Oculus' VR tech outside of hardcore games.

By the end of this month, 30 Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants in Texas, California, and Florida will be equipped with Virtual Ticket Blaster units. The chain has a total of 567 locations according to its web site.


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