One of the many lessons you learn from the Internet is to never wonder aloud why Chuck E. Cheese is still in business. You’ll get an earful from parents about how you don’t understand how great it is to have a privatized playground in every strip mall in America. Still, despite having the market on ‘places to dump your kids so you can go drink’ cornered, the company has to stay on top of modern innovation. So they’re using the Oculus Rift to make children think they’re trapped in a tube with a giant singing rat.
Going by the profoundly unfortunate name of Chuck E. Cheese’s Virtual Ticket Blaster Experience, here’s what’s being tested out in some markets according to the company’s press release:
Birthday parties booked during the six–week test in the three markets will offer the Birthday Star a turn in the virtual Ticket Blaster. The headset uses 360–degree head-tracking technology and features a 3D view so users feel as though they are inside the Ticket Blaster with Chuck E. During the experience, the headset will register the number of tickets collected, which will be fully redeemable at the merchandise counter.
Can you redeem the tickets for extra pairs of pants? Because playing Seven Minutes in Heaven with a giant computer-animated rodent sounds like pure nightmare fuel. I’m a grown man who watches gory horror movies with glee, and you couldn’t get me into that thing if you paid me. The only upside is that at least it won’t be boring for the other kids to watch.
Currently this is being tested in six markets, and if the response is successful, it will be rolled out to more. Somehow we suspect the response won’t be quite what Chuck and company are hoping.