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Lockdown inspires virtual reality games venture at Greenham Business Park, Newbury

Venue VR opened its doors in early October

Geraldine Gardner

Geraldine Gardner

geraldine.gardner@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886684

Lockdown inspires virtual reality games venture at Greenham Business Park, Newbury

Jack and Edward enjoying the VR experience

VENUE VR, a new virtual reality arcade located at Greenham Business Park, opened its doors in early October and is currently offering taster sessions to simulator and VR enthusiasts.

The new venture is the brainchild of Matthew McMahon from Newbury, a computer programmer who, when lockdown began in March, decided to try out virtual reality gaming for the first time.

Mr McMahon, 30, said: “I picked up a headset and absolutely loved it. I realised it would be a great arcade experience for the whole family, so decided to give it a go as a business.

“Once lockdown was over I was able to put my plan into action. Greenham is a great place because it’s easy to get to and there is plenty of parking.”

Venue VR offers two family pods – VR stations for up to four people, adults or children, with a 90-inch projector and various experiences.

“We offer light saber games to super hero experiences and good old-fashioned arcade style shooting games.”

For racing enthusiasts there are two 5D racing car simulators and they will also be installing two static racing cars for younger would be Lewis Hamiltons.

The venue also offers a simulated roller-coaster for those who like a rocky ride.

“Because of Covid, we currently limit the total number of visitors to six,” says Mr McMahon.

“Bookings are staggered so that we can deep clean all the workstations and headsets and other surfaces in between each group.

"We have hand sanitisers installed and people are asked to wear masks at all times, except when they are playing on the VR games with the headsets.”

Mr McMahon is currently offering taster sessions to individuals and groups at £10 a head for a 45-minute session.

“Never having done something like this before I wanted to make sure I got it right so I thought the best thing was to offer these taster sessions so that people could come and enjoy the experience and I could learn from the feedback.”

Jack Stevens and Edward Marsh, both aged nine, have given the experience the thumbs up. 

Mrs Stevens said: "The boys have had great fun trying out the different games and my husband has already said he wants to come and have a go with Jack next week."

Venue VR is at The Enterprise Centre in Greenham Business Park and is currently open all day Saturday and Sunday and evenings during the week. During half-term it will be open full time.

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