Fun and games

Futuristic virtual reality venue powers up at Dallas' Mockingbird Station

Futuristic virtual reality venue debuts at Dallas' Mockingbird Station

Sandbox Virtual Reality
Players must be able to support gear weight of at least 20 pounds for up to 1 hour. Photo courtesy of Sandbox VR

Hold onto your helmet. A first-of-its-kind, full-body virtual reality experience, called Sandbox VR, is landing at Dallas' Mockingbird Station.

The "immersive metaverse experience" will open Friday, June 24 at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 110, a release says. Another DFW location, in Fort Worth's Crockett Row, is also opening that day.

Each Sandbox venue features full-size "Holodecks" equipped with the futuristic VR technology that allows up to six people to explore and play in new worlds together. Each player can see and physically interact with everyone inside, but participants feel like they've stepped inside a game or movie, the creators say.

The release describes the experience like this: "Together with friends, family, or co-workers, players are equipped with a VR headset, a haptic vest, a backpack, and motion sensors on their wrists and ankles. Participants can see and interact with their team through VR goggles while they free-roam together to complete adventures, which include experiences such as defeating zombies in a haunted mansion or participating in a family-friendly Star Trek space mission."

According to the website, six different VR experiences are being offered at the Dallas location, including "Amber Sky 2088," "Deadwood Mansion," "Curse of Davy Jones," "Unbound Fighting League (UFL)," "Star Trek Discover: Away Mission," and the all-new zombie thrill-ride "Deadwood Valley."

Each experience lasts about 45 minutes (add another 45 minutes for set-up, training, and post-game video watching). It's $50 per person, and all games have a two-guest minimum, except for UFL, which has a four-guest minimum for booking. The website says pricing may vary on non-peak days and/or times. Group bookings are available.

Participants must be at least 8 years old and 48 inches or taller to play, and corrective glasses cannot be worn. (Be sure to check out the FAQ for more physical requirements.)

Sandbox VR is a Hong Kong- and Silicon Valley-based company founded by CEO Steve Zhao, who aimed to create technology that makes participants feel as if they are in a blockbuster action movie. No wonder it's backed by celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, and Will Smith, according to the release.

"Sandbox VR combines sophisticated motion capture in real-time with virtual reality technology to create a new medium that is the closest thing to the Star Trek holodeck that exists," they say. 

The Dallas and Fort Worth locations are the brand's second and third in Texas (after Austin) and 14th in the U.S. There are also venues throughout Asia and Canada, and opening soon in Europe. 

"We're thrilled to open our newest location at Mockingbird Station,” Zhao said in a statement. “Dallas is a particularly exciting city with its thriving economy, booming tech
industry, and diverse communities. We're honored to be a part of its growth story."

Hours at the Mockingbird Station location are 10 am-11 pm Monday-Thursday and 10 am-12 am Friday-Saturday.

 or more information and bookings, visit the website.