By Brendan Burke, Staff Writer
With the release of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive in 2016, virtual reality has grown to popularity amongst consumers. Its impact is seen in the household, the gaming industry, and most of all, the typical arcade.
Most children enjoy going to the arcade and playing all of the exciting games they have to offer like “Pinball,” “Deal or No Deal,” and “Skee Ball.” GameWorks, a popular arcade in Schaumburg, has gotten a completely new layout dedicated to simulation games.
In place of all the typical classics such as “Dance Dance Revolution ” and “Frogger,” there are many newer, advanced games scattered all over the main floor. In fact, half of their pinball machines on the second floor are gone and tucked away into a vacant corner.
While looking through the extensive collection of over 200 games at GameWorks, it can be seen that about 75 percent of these games contain screens. GameWorks general manager Don Girvan says that the price of simulation and 3D games ranges from $10,000 to $100,000. So, some of them are the price of an average house for a family of four in the Schaumburg area.
Girvan also claims that many of the older arcade games at GameWorks are being replaced to make room for newer games. He says that GameWorks has a plentiful collection of simulation games and they are hoping to get full-on VR experiences with actual headsets soon.
With the new additions to the GameWorks arcade, Girvan claims to have seen much greater attendance than before, now reaching up to 1,000 people on the weekend rather than only 800 before. The guests are primarily younger children who flock to the more interactive games for a more intriguing experience.
“We definitely see virtual reality in high demand,” Girvan said. “You can very clearly see the impact newer games have had on our arcade. The main floor does not look the same as it did three years ago.”