The Showcase Magazine - Articles

Jump Into the Light, New York’s First Virtual Reality

Cinema Experience

180 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

By Lauren Holstein

Virtual Reality has been getting plenty of hype but is expensive to buy for personal use – therefore limiting the consumer experience. Rather than buy one VR device for hundreds of dollars, Jump Into the Light, New York’s First Virtual Reality Cinema Experience, has created a venue where groups can share in the experience. This Lower East Side venue allows you and others to experience a more immersive virtual reality experience in a simulated 3-D environment where you can explore your surroundings as if you were really there, all for a lesser cost.

Jump Into the Light features four different experiences that users can partake in: The first experience is called “Enter the Void” and shows a variety of curated 360 films. Users sit in swivel chairs with Samsung Gear headset and headphones strapped on while watching a film lasting a range of two to eight minutes. The films include a variety of VR cinema styles including through a Salvador Dali painting, the Frieze art fair, touring the Hadron Collider at Cern, along with other short films. “My time here was truly otherworldly. However, if you find yourself inside a yellow tent, I would highly recommend skipping that compilation,” says guest Brandon Kanty, 25, of one particularly spooky segment.

Experience two is called “The Wizard Experience.” This experience is an interactive game where users create an immersive 3D, 360-degree painting with Google tilt by build blocks and manipulating the 3D objects with their hands. The experience is set up with a row of computers and a seat in front of each. The game will give instructions on how to change the shape of your blocks and how to make them fly.

When I went into Jump Into the Light, it was with about twenty other people for a work event. A surprisingly fun part of the experience was watching other people while they were immersed in their VR experience. It’s silly to see a row of people sitting with their hands reaching towards computers or to hear your co-worker worried she’s going to fall off a building while standing in a closed room.

This brings us to experience three, called “Full Immersion.” Users can walk around a virtual world and choose between, painting with Google’s “Tilt Brush,” shooting zombies, putting our fires, and a few other experiences in 3D. Similar to as in the other experiences, the staff is hands on to help users put on the headsets and any other equipment you’d need before beginning. However, for “Full Immersion,” users also get two paddle controllers that assist for the full experience. “I got to kill some zombies first hand and fly over some of the world's most beautiful sites. I would highly recommend!” says Kanty.

Jump Into the Light is available for corporate events, fundraisers, and birthday parties. The venue is family and kid friendly having promised that “people from 8 to 80 from all around the world have enjoyed our productions.”

Tickets range from $45 to $95 depending on the package you buy. Check out their website to find out when you can jump into the light!