Virtual Reality and Its Benefits

By Barrett Zies, Mason Shepard

Over the past 3 days, Barrett Zies and I, have spent over 10 hours in a virtual reality game called “Rec Room.” Rec Room is a game filled with endless possibilities. Anyone can be or do pretty much anything: Skiing, Basketball, Painting, or even architecture. Whatever floats your boat. We were joined by Clutch Miller and Iszek Saragossa for our adventures.

Our experience started where every single game starts and ends: the dorm. The dorm is a quaint room with a bunk bed, a loft, and a basketball net over the trash can. This area is completely customizable, mine resembles the upstairs area of the library from “The Breakfast Club” with music posters lining the walls. Barrett’s is a modern home with a fireplace, his loft has bean bags and movie posters everywhere. All of us traveled  and met at Clutch’s room, a japanese style room with pink fluorescent lights, and a “Wallace and Gromit” mug that he treasures a bit more than he should. He has a teleporter that sends you to his 2nd floor area, the same design with a PC setup and a TV. We conversed for a bit and headed out into the world, we were going rock climbing. Or should I say mountain climbing.

I should preface these stories by saying that Rec Room is best described by books, it can be as outlandish as a Dr. Seuss book or as serious as a Stephen King book. This world was absolutely not what we were suspecting. We teleported to the room and there it stood, a tower so tall that we could not see the end. This wasn’t a mountain at all. This was a behemoth.  Our ascent started, with us staggering up the climb. Clutch was very far ahead of Barrett and I, there were miles of climbing ahead of us, and falling was certain death at this height. We reached a ledge, and we pulled ourselves up onto solid ground. The only solid ground we would see for a very long time. Our ascent continued on a sour note. As we were climbing we hit a section where we had to climb at a 45 degree angle behind us. This resulted in us dangling from our arms. As well as our first casualty being Clutch. With him losing his grip, he slipped off. With a flurry of curses and screams. We lost Clutch. Meaning he had to start his journey all over again. We quoted Clutch saying, “I think I just peed myself.” The rest of our climb consisted of me and Barrett working our way up. My arms were killing me, we had been at this for an hour. Then, out of nowhere, we had a change of scenery. There was another ledge, which we propped ourselves up on. We saw exactly what we didn’t want to see. We had to jump to another ledge. It was a solid 20 foot gap. I was up first. I used as much space as I could, and jumped. I got two hands on the ledge, but my fingers caved and I fell. It was a surreal experience. I really felt like I was falling, it was the first time VR had really felt real. The great times we had in the lead up to my fall. While I was thinking about all that, the ground got closer and closer until everything turned black. Barrett had also fallen. His fall, by all accounts, was way less fun. With him hitting every rock, ledge, and wall he could. We quit the climb, defeated. We wanted more adrenaline, and Clutch knew exactly where to go.

Barrett Zies

One of the games that we visited was called “Beneath the Lightbulb.” In this game, you are set in what looks like an abandoned hotel, and you have to search around to find parts to complete the game you are searching for parts to complete the game, there is a monster that is constantly on the move called “The Seeker ,” which is a tall, lanky white figure with long arms that drag on the floor.All of us started in a small room with a single entrance to the hotel. Once we were able to run out into the hotel, we all stuck together as a group until Clutch lost track of Iszek, Mason and  We could sense that The Seeker was getting closer and closer to us so we decided to head down a flight of stairs and hide inside a small room with a couple of sofas and a table and chairs. After a solid five  minutes of time passing, the seeker had not gotten any closer and still no trace of Clutch. Eventually Clutch’s voice came into distance with us and that gave us somewhat of an idea on where he was. However we did not want to take the risk of being found by The Seeker so we decided Clutch could find us on his own. Unfortunately he didn’t end up finding us and got caught by The Seeker. Our strategy of hiding in the room in the corner did not work out and we also ended up getting caught by The seeker. 

Our next day of Rec Room included the game which is similar to Beneath the lightbulb, but is not a hallway concept and is more open-spaced. This time Iszek Saragossa was not with us, unlike the previous games we have played. Clutch had told us about this game so he pretty much knew what to do. Mason and I began to follow Clutch to our first puzzle destination. The puzzle we were doing consisted of four different color matching puzzles. While Clutch was working on the puzzle, Mason and myself were keeping watch to see if the monster chasing us was anywhere near us. We later discovered that the monster could not climb up the staircase we went up so there was no point of keeping watch. After we completed that, we went back downstairs and proceeded to get caught by the monster time after time. After repeating the same cycle over and over again, we decided to stop playing and do something else.

At the end of our shared experience, we have realized the vast benefits of playing this game and playing other games. I guess you could say that it was a great escape from our outside lives; Barrett playing tennis, me playing soccer. I enjoyed every minute of our experience. I connected with Barrett, Clutch, and Iszek in a way I never thought I could. Rec Room was great at showcasing people’s creativity and their talents. There were so many other worlds and stories we would love to share. Who knows? Maybe we could take greenwood into VR. We really hope you enjoyed our story, and thank you for reading.