- Interview with Whitney Thomas, PR at The Void
The Void is the first theme park dedicated to virtual reality. We come back with its PR manager on the success and specificities of this original place.
The VOID is quite simply the world's first virtual reality amusement park. After briefly telling you about this new kind of place in a previous article, we decided to organize an interview to learn more. So we spoke to Whitney Thomas, PR manager at this revolutionary company, true standard of virtual reality and its possibilities.
Interview with Whitney Thomas, PR at The Void
Hello. Could you tell us a bit about the creators of the project? How did they meet? What were they doing before opening The VOID?
The idea for this amusement park comes from Ken Bretschneider. A confirmed entrepreneur, he was keen on immersive and interactive experiences, in particular haunted attractions. He grew up in Ontario, Canada, a small fishing village. In 2008, he already hosted in his own house a horror experience, certainly humble, but visited by most of the inhabitants. After this unexpected success, he plans to open an amusement park by the name of Evermore. He therefore joined forces with Curtis Hickman and James Jensen. Together, they decide to rename the project and give it a whole new direction. This is how The VOID, the virtual reality theme park, was born in 2016.
Why did you choose to open an amusement park based on virtual reality technology?
Our founders wanted to offer the public much more than an entertaining experience. They wanted to offer them the most total immersion. What could be better than virtual reality to offer this kind of experience. It was therefore a question of using virtual reality and the technologies that complement it in order to project customers into new worlds, for an unforgettable experience.
How is The Void different from VR arcades, for example from CTRL V? We recently held an interview with the creator of this particular game room. He told us you weren't in direct competition. Do you agree ?
Effectively, we don't see CTRL V as a direct competitor, as it appears to be more of an arcade that uses the HTC Vive to facilitate VR experiences. What we offer is different. We like to believe that The VOID creates hyper-reality experiences. By using RAPTURE equipment and installing physical effects in our premises, our customers benefit from a total immersion in new worlds.
What other equipment do you use?
A haptic vest and a Mark IV pistol.
How has the audience received your experiences so far, other than Aaron Paul (Jessie Pinkman in Breaking Bad) who we found quite impressed?
The feedback has been very positive. You can take a look at these videos where our customers react to the experiences we offer.
Regarding your turnover, have you reached a point where you are making money or are you still paying back your investments?
We are a private company that continues to raise funds. We have sold over 15 tickets to date in New York.
What do you think of the future of virtual reality? Is it a gadget or a real revolution for society as we know it?
We believe the future of virtual reality is bright. This technology is going to change the way we do many things and we are excited to be part of this transformation, first in entertainment, but also more generally.