Virtual gaming the latest craze in Jamaica

Virtual reality (VR) gaming immerses the user into a 3D audio-visual world, requiring them to get physical at times to play (Photo contributed)

VRX Virtual Reality & eSports Centre in Portmore, St Catherine has been racking up the accolades.

The group is the most followed VR Centre on Instagram and has managed 60 million views across all its social media platforms. VRX even had one of their videos, racking up over nine million views, featured on international cable station MTV.

Tracking VRX’s digital evolution

For CEO Gregory Moore and COO Ryan Moore, the praise comes upon thinking ahead of the curve when they started the business in 2018.

“VRX is actually the evolution of my original business Str8Games Limited that started in 2006. We adopted VR in 2015 until we transitioned into Virtual Reality Jamaica in 2018,” Moore explained.

Moore said he started the move when his previous venture Str8Games began to lull due to market forces.

VRX Virtual Reality & eSports Centre COO Ryan Moore (right) helps a patron operate one of the wireless VR headsets. (Photo contributed)

“The Str8Games model was being affected by digital change in the video game industry. We realised VR was a new concept and decided to change the business model,” Moore further noted.

How immersive is virtual reality (VR) gaming?

VRX, located in Sovereign Village, provides the unusual and immersive experience that is virtual reality gaming.

“VR is basically immersion in an alternate interactive environment using a head-mounted display; this isolates the user from the real world,” VRX COO Ryan Moore told BUZZ.

The headsets are connected to powerful computers that generate a three-dimensional digital world as viewed through their built-in screens. There are also audio cues. The audio and video are combined with sensors that track users’ movement allowing them to interact with the realistic computer-generated graphics. So real is the experience that it’s not uncommon for those playing to have physical and emotional reactions to whatever they’re seeing through the VR goggles.

“There are various headsets that can achieve VR, but we are using the highest-grade headsets in order to deliver ultra-realistic environments. A high-end computer projects the image in the headset, the headset and controllers use various sensors in order to replicate your movements in the environment being projected. This makes the user feel fully immersed and will sometimes forget that they are in a simulation,” said Moore.

‘Yuh wah speed??!’

The centre has four full VR stations, wireless headsets, and a simulator rig used for racing games.

VRX Virtual Reality & eSports Centre has its own built-in simulator rig for racing games. (Photo contributed)

Games range from simple sit-down-and-watch rollercoaster types to action-packed adventures that see players in motion. The game menu is updated regularly as the VR game library expands. Ryan added that due to the popularity of VRX, their vendor partners are always sending them the latest.

“We basically have a 90% or higher satisfaction rating from our customers. The thrill factor is very high so it satisfies both corporate clients and walk-in patrons.”

Even with success the Moores are once again looking ahead of the curve.

“We currently primarily use it for games and entertainment-based experiences. We are however going through a transition into corporate solutions in order to solve many real-world issues in various industries, for example, tourism, health care and even the BPO sector,” Moore argued

Written by Nichola Beckford