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Matrix

At Oculus Connect 6 this month, Facebook announced that they are building The Matrix. Now they didn’t call it The Matrix, because that would be shitty marketing.  They are calling it Live Maps; how’s that for innocuous? How could Live Maps be bad? We love maps. They’re amazing. And if they were Live, that would…

15 Top Insights from Brent Bushnell and Two Bit Circus

As you probably know, I have a webinar series called Deep Dives, where I interview leading voices in the location-based VR industry. Last week, I had the sincere pleasure of interviewing Brent Bushnell, co-founder and CEO of Two Bit Circus. Brent is the son of arcade legend Nolan Bushnell, who founded both Atari and Chuck…
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IAAPA Paris Review Part 2

Last week in part one of the IAAPA Paris VR review, I covered Spree Interactive’s kid-friendly free roam system, the latest from Hologate, motion simulation attractions from Modimage, the amazing Toyland from Illucity and Backlight, and the new Dojo from Altereyes. This week I will try to cover the best of the rest. The biggest…
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Virtual Reality Takes over IAAPA Paris

I travel the world constantly, uncovering, discovering and reviewing what’s happening in the world known as location-based virtual reality (LBVR) so I can deliver the most relevant insights to you.  Since 2016 I have flown almost a million miles covering conferences, meeting with emerging startups, and talking to the leading minds in virtual reality.  That’s…
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What problem are you solving?

Every successful product solves a problem. This is one of the few truths in marketing. If your product doesn’t solve a problem, it will never take off. If you’re resistant to this idea, please read on. As one of the leading mentors for startups in the virtual reality market, I hear from dozens of companies…
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LBVR is Approaching the Tipping Point

I just spent a week in Chicago with the insiders and influencers of the amusement industry. Every year the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) gathers to hold their committee and board meetings. Manufacturers preview new products coming to market for distributors. And everyone collaborates to help raise money for the AAMA charitable foundation. This year,…
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VR Addiction Post 3

Oculus, one of the two largest virtual reality platforms, is owned and controlled by the largest social media company on the planet, Facebook.  In my last two blogs, I write about how social media addiction is a growing problem, driven by society’s desire for distraction. VR has been proven to be a distraction that is…
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Virtual Reality, Distraction, and Addiction

Last week I wrote about how VR can be a pain mitigation treatment in hospitals. We’ve long known distraction is a useful treatment methodology for pain. The mind has trouble processing stimuli outside out of the field of attention, and VR provides powerful means of distraction. We all seek distractions. Television has been so ingrained…
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Will VR be the New Opiate for the Masses?

Virtual reality is going to change everything. Consumer companies like HTC and Facebook (Oculus) have been building headsets, banking on it being the next big consumer gaming platform. Whether that will happen is a matter of quite some debate, but what nobody is debating is the impact that VR is having across a number of…
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How to Evaluate Non-Gaming Experiential VR Content

Last week I gave you a framework to help evaluate content for a VR attraction. I focused on gaming content, but there’s lots of experiential content out there. This week I want to give you some things to consider when evaluating non-gaming content. One of the raps against non-gaming content is that it’s not replayable. Typically this content does well in…
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How to Evaluate Content for Your VR Attraction

For the last couple of months, I have been writing about how to select the perfect VR attraction for your location-based entertainment operation.  I’ve been encouraging operators to take a 360-degree approach, considering things like mindset, staff capability, physical attributes of your location, and the context of the consumer. At the center of all of these…
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How Zoos and Aquariums can use VR to Connect with Millennials

Last week I wrote about how operators need to consider the context of the consumer when considering what VR attractions they offer. I used high end karting centers as an example, because the psychographics of the core consumer is highly competitive, and made specific recommendations for karting center operators. This week I circle back to…
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VR for Karting Centers – The Customer is King

Location-based entertainment venues are adding VR attractions at a staggering pace.  For the last several years, VR was on the pre-chasm curve of the crossing the chasm model, with mostly Innovators and Early Adopters diving into this third wave of virtual reality attractions. At the annual IAAPA show last year in Orlando, there were over…
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Is VR The Key to the Escape Room Profit Puzzle?

Escape Rooms are the newest location-based entertainment segment to embrace virtual reality and one where the value proposition is the strongest. Escape rooms harken back to ancient Greece, where labyrinths were a part of mythology.  The athenian hero Theseus had to navigate a labyrinth to find and kill the Minotaur. Hedge mazes were popular with…
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Aquariums, Zoos and Science Centers – The Perfect Fit

For the last two weeks, I have been writing about how various locations should be looking at virtual reality to help narrow down the selection process of VR attractions. There are so many types of VR attractions now, with more coming on the market every month, that it can bewilder even the most experienced operator.…
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Theme Parks, Casinos and Malls – Where Does VR Make Sense?

Last week I wrote about how the attributes of your location can help inform the virtual reality attraction your select. I covered VR Arcades, Family Entertainment Centers, and Trampoline parks.  This week I continue this thinking and include Theme Parks, Shopping Centers, and Casinos. Theme Parks were early adopters of VR despite the inherent throughput…
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VR and Your Location – What Makes Sense?

Last week I wrote about how your capabilities as an operator are critical to selecting the best VR attraction for your business. (The email had formatting issues, so if you had trouble reading it, I have fixed it, and you can read it here.). From marketing to staffing, to technical prowess, your proficiency in these…
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The Capabilities Required to Operate a Profitable VR Attraction

Last week I wrote about the different categories of attractions; from single and multiplayer arcade to arena-scale, and multi-sensory free-roam systems, there’s a wide selection of products in a limitless range of prices. It can be overwhelming to decide what products to consider, and impossible to land on the one that makes the most sense…
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What VR Should You Buy? – The Attraction

There are four areas of consideration when looking at a VR attraction for your business. Last week, I wrote about how your experience, mindsets, and vision can help inform your selection of the perfect VR attraction. That post was about you, the operator. In the coming weeks, I will be writing about your customers and…
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The Operator

Last week, I wrote about the four categories of operators I see in the location-based entertainment industry.  The Spectator is sitting on the beach, watching other operators ride the third wave of VR, paralyzed by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.  The Follower is surfing the most crowded beaches; buying what everyone else is buying, figuring that…
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waves-on-the-beach

How To Select The Perfect Virtual Reality Attraction For Your Operation

One of the most frequent questions I get from operators is, “What VR attraction should I buy?” When I started writing about virtual reality in 2015, my skepticism was rooted in the last two VR waves I rode. In 1992 I helped launch Virtuality, building VR and laser tag arenas in malls across the US in…
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The Future of Virtual Reality is Here NOW

VR Update With Bob Cooney RePlay contributor and virtual reality aficionado Bob Cooney hosted a webinar on Jan. 31 for nearly 100 people, breaking down the “third wave” of virtual reality and emphasizing that “this time, things are different.” According to Cooney, virtual reality (and a little further down the road, augmented reality) is going to…
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The Virtual Reality Groundswell

https://www.replaymag.com/bob-cooney-on-vr-part-4-july-2018/ Part Four: Stormy Seas Calming Into Clear Opportunities for Operators The creation of waves requires wind to blow over the open ocean for long periods of time. The sea state inside a large storm is chaotic, with huge waves breaking in every direction. You’ve seen the dramatization in movies like The Perfect Storm, where…
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Innovating for Millennials

What You Need to Know to Get Them In Your Locations Bob Cooney on Millennials – March 2018 Millennials. If you ask anyone from previous generations about them, you’ll likely get a range of reactions from frustration to confusion to dismissal, often with eye-rolls thrown in for effect. However, the reality is that those born…
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VR Takes the Stage at Expo

Bob Cooney on VR at Amusement Expo – February 2018 Cooney Makes a Case for Why VR Belongs There & Urges Examination For the last twenty-five years, I’ve been observing the virtual reality market emerge, contract and emerge again. In 2015, I went to IAAPA to research an article for this publication in which I…
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The VR Scene

Bob Cooney on the VR Scene – December 2017 Tech Development Bodes Well for Arcade-Based VR For the last two years, I’ve been observing the virtual reality market develop. In 2015, I went to IAAPA to research an article for this publication that was intended to proclaim that the third try at VR was not…
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Sex & Violence In VR?

Bob Cooney on the VR Scene – October 2017 Self-Reflection Leads to Change In Game Perception As some of you might know, I’ve been on a personal journey over recent years that’s led me to re-examine my life in a pretty critical light. By most external measures, I have been very successful. I took my…
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Third Wave of VR Looks Like A Tsunami – Part Two

Bob Cooney on VR – April 2017 Part Two: Avoiding the “VR Arcade” Trap & Maximizing Its Potential  Editor’s note: Part One was published in the March 2017 issue and can be found online here. Last month, I wrote about why consumer VR might not present as significant a threat as many in the out-of-home entertainment industry…
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Third Wave of VR Looks Like A Tsunami – Part One

Bob Cooney on VR – March 2017 And If You’re Not Careful, You Could Get Swept Away – Part One Those who attended the fall IAAPA Expo in Orlando certainly felt the buzz around Virtual Reality. But unless you went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, you probably didn’t get a…
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Virtual Reality’s Third Wave

Bob Cooney on the VR Scene – October 2017 Is the Third Time the Charm? Virtual Reality is hot. Lava hot. Kate Upton hot. Ryan Reynolds hot. But for those of you that don’t remember, we’ve been here before. In 1991, as I was getting ready to debut Laser Storm at the IAAPA show in…
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Can Amusement Games Save Gaming?

Bob Cooney on Skill-Based Gaming – February 2016 Recent Changes to Nevada Gaming Laws Will Lead to Opportunity, Confusion and Potentially Disaster for Some in the Amusement Industry Coin-op has struggled to hold onto relevance since the heddy days of the video game boom, while the market for home video games has exploded into a…
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