A new virtual reality-powered gaming experience is to launch in Leeds next month.

The Void has so far only opened in New York, but the experience, described as “hyper reality”, has gained international headlines since it launched at the TED conference a year ago.

It is said to merge VR technology with physical sets and multi-sensory effects, to create a fully immersive, multi-player game.

“Our Hyper Reality Experience centres will provide a new form of entertainment that is part video game, part virtual reality, part real-world, part theatrical production,” explained developer and director of Tick Tock Unlock, Ali Khan.

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“The centres will allow players to experience a free-roaming, live action challenge which has to be physically completed but which takes place in the playground of a virtual world.”

He explained how it worked in practice:

“Participants have to interact with objects which, in the real world are dummy props, but when viewing through VR headsets become, say, an elevator door, a laser gun or a fuel cell.  Players might feel the heat from a virtual fire or the draft from a mineshaft so that it will be difficult to distinguish reality from virtual reality.”

Leeds-based interactive escape company Tick Tock Unlock, has 6 sites in 4 cities and its first Hyper Reality Experience will launch at Trinity Leeds. The company plans to open 10 UK centres by 2019.

“Our first Hyper Reality Experience centre has been optimised for a retail environment, but future sites will also include larger, out-of-town retail centres and theme parks and we are in talks with partners about our next locations,” added Khan.

 

The centre opens on 22nd April, to coincide with the Leeds International Festival.