BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Ever had an out of body experience? That’s what it feels like to be surrounded by the digitally designed world of Virtual Reality at Ctrl V North York on Chesswood Drive. Virtual Reality becomes a space where your body is neither here nor there, and the fine line between what is real, and what’s not blurred into one. You become immersed in a digital space that opens up and heightens your senses, allowing you the ability to escape the real world and enter a different dimension of your choosing.
Ctrl V opened its doors in June 2016 in Waterloo, making it the first VR Arcade in Canada. Since then, it has become the fastest-growing VR arcade in North America, fostering strong connections with consumers and offering an otherworldly experience where visitors can have full control over the artificial world of a game. Ctrl V North York opened in January 2018 and became the first Ctrl V franchise in Toronto.
“I got into the world of VR while working on a project to stop cyberbullying” explains Ctrl V North York franchisee Gene Kayal. “I then explored other avenues where I could use virtual reality from an entertainment perspective and that’s how I came across Ctrl V.”
In the world of RPG, everything is designed to make the player feel as though they are living the experience. In Virtual Reality, they drop you right into the heart of the game. This high-tech, enriched gaming experience allows for players to escape into an imaginary world with themselves as the main character.
“The VR experience is very immersive. When you are playing in virtual reality, it feels as though you’re inside the game,” Kayal shares. “It’s not like the regular gaming experience where you are sitting and playing as a spectator. In virtual reality, you actually go into the game; you’re part of it.”
Located at the corner of Chesswood Drive and Champagne Drive, Ctrl V North York features 17 custom-built stations to immerse the gamer into the depths of the virtual world. Each visitor enters their own 10’ x 10’ space, puts on a headset with built-in headphones, and choose from a wide selection of games that open new and exciting realities. You move around—known as teleporting—in the game by using a pair of hand controllers. These controllers are completely visible inside the headset and also used to engage the main game activities which could be shooting, cooking, or even playing fetch with a robotic dog!
There is a wide range of games from which to choose. You can challenge a friend to a duel; parachute behind enemy lines and track your mark as a sniper; hunt zombies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland; train to become a space pirate; or fight the good fight in the wild west between Cowbots and Aliens. It’s easy to change games and a Ctrl V North York staff member is always nearby make sure you enjoy the experience to its full potential.
“The VR arcade presents fun for the whole family,” Kayal says. “Families are able to come out and play games together. Another popular use is to host birthday parties. Either way, the kids always leave raving about all of the fun they had.” Although only one person can play in each station, there are a number of multi-player games. In some games, as many as eight people can all play together and even talk to each other through the headsets.
Once only a figment of our imagination—the concept of VR goes back to the 1930’s—Ctrl V North York makes an evolving entertainment technology easy-to-use and something that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Visitors to Ctrl V North York are able to book their 1-hour virtual reality session online by going to www.ctrlv.ca and selecting the North York location. The Ctrl V North York website also has a short video showing what the experience is like.
Ctrl V North York is there for when reality just isn’t enough! Located at 4501 Chesswood Drive in the Downsview area, they are just steps away from York University and the recently opened Finch West station. They offer a unique gaming experience to share with your friends or family, with single and group packages available. At Ctrl V, their goal is to put you in control. Head out and experience the virtual world and take your gaming experience to new heights!