A new virtual reality arcade has headed to Tacoma just in time for summer. Now, people can escape reality for a while and immerse themselves in a virtual world.
“It’s the future,” said Michelle Kim, 33. “It’s literally the future of games.”
Kim, co-owner of Digital Reality Gaming in Point Ruston, said the business has been steady since they opened their arcade in April. They visit about 15 to 20 people a day, but the weekends get busier, he said. Hanjin Kim, Michelle Kim’s husband, is the other co-owner of DRG.
DRG’s original location opened in 2017 at Federal Way’s The Commons mall, Kim said.
“Our plan was not to have two stores,” Kim said. “When we decided to keep both of us … everyone was very excited because we have a lot of people from Tacoma and Lakewood … who will go all the way to Federal Way, but now they don’t have to.”
Ruston’s location currently has eight HTC Vive Cosmos Elite systems and two Roto VR chairs. Guests can choose from up to 40 games, including first-person shooter games like Arizona Sunshine or something as simple as Fruit Ninja.
Those interested in playing the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite should slide into a virtual reality headset and keep two controllers upright. The Roto VR chair, on the other hand, offers a more physical experience as you move in any direction you move your head.
DRG offers regular pricing as well as VIP pricing for those who choose to purchase a $ 14.95 monthly subscription. Prices are determined by the amount of time a customer spends on a system, so an hour on an HTC Vive Cosmos Elite system would cost $ 45 for a regular customer and $ 25 for a VIP customer.
One of the things that separates the DRG from other virtual reality video games is that it doesn’t serve alcohol, Kim said. Some people may get carried away with alcohol, he said, so they wanted their business to be more family-friendly.
Community engagement is another thing DRG is proud of, Kim said. In the past, they allowed children to have free time in play systems as long as they attended school regularly and did not miss any classes.
“We like working with the community and giving kids and young people something to do instead of causing trouble and running,” Kim said.
Hanjin Kim said the idea for the store came up when I watched YouTube videos of people playing virtual reality systems. He thought it would be a good idea to gather a group of people to play in one place, so he communicated this to his wife.
“We started making plans to open this place and we had a lot of crazy ideas,” said Hanjin Kim, 31.
One of her crazy ideas, which didn’t come to fruition, was to offer virtual reality games on a party bus, Michelle Kim said. However, one of the flaws of this is having to locate a suitable location for the people you meet.
The Kim were raised in Tacoma. Michelle was born in California and Hanjin was born in Texas.
▪ Digital Reality Gaming is located at 5020 Main Street, Suite K, and is open from 2pm to 10pm Tuesday to Saturday and from 1pm to 8pm on Sunday.