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Is Vienna's World-First Virtual Reality Bar the Hangout Spot of the Future?

Combining the real and virtual worlds, with beverages.

Virtual reality is no longer just something found in science fiction films, as anyone who has experienced a VR concert or tour, attended a festival of VR flicks or bought their own VR headset is more than aware. That's just the beginning. The next step in this brave new world — well, maybe that's where everything the likes of The Matrix, TRON, eXistenZ and Strange Days told us starts to come into play.

In Vienna, a world-first bar lets patrons combine the real and virtual worlds in a new fashion: by heading out for a few beverages, donning the requisite gear and hanging out in an intangible space rather than just soaking in the bricks and mortar surroundings. Who needs to chat to the people around you when you can plug in, play and interact in the VR space, right?

Equipped with an array of VR gear, Vrei Lounge encourages both, with Playstation VR, HTC Vive, Samsung GearVR and more all on the menu alongside the usual selection of booze, coffee, pizzas and muffins. While you're sipping and snacking, you can play mini-golf, train to be a space pirate, repair robots, plunge into the underwater deep or race cars — virtually, of course.

It might be the first of its kind, but with arcade and pinball bars popping up with frequency these days, expect more alcohol-fuelled VR haunts to follow around the world. It does indulge humanity's now-engrained love for always being glued to a screen, after all. Whether putting on a headset and having a tipple is better than lounging around and chatting to your mates — that's up to you.

Via AWOL. Image: Vrei.

Published on January 21, 2017 by Sarah Ward

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