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On December 21, 2018, Teleport opened in Green City in Minsk. Visitors are given the chance to experience six “fields” of virtual reality. Images: Belretail

Minsk As a Virtual Trailblazer

The largest virtual amusement park to date has recently opened at a shopping center in the Belarusian capital. Tourists also make up part of the target group.

The increasing importance of leisure facilities at shopping centers is well known. Virtual entertainment still remains a niche. A shopping mall located in the capital of Belarus is currently making headway in this area. On December 21, 2018, Teleport, which currently serves as Europe’s largest virtual amusement park, opened in Green City in Minsk. Visitors are given the chance to experience six “fields” of virtual reality (VR). The park’s area comprises about 1,400 sq m. More than 100 VR helmets and glasses, nearly two dozen gaming simulators, and a VR cafe are available. The creators of the park hope that it will become a universal entertainment venue that will be of interest to people of different ages and training levels, and that, in the future, it will become a landmark for the IT country.

The park is organized in a way that appeals to all visitors, regardless of their ages or hobbies. Avid gamers and fans of World of Tanks VR – one of the most popular VR games, developed in partnership with Wargaming – will be able to fight using virtual tanks or go on interactive quests in the PlayVR zone. Those who enjoy benefitting from the ways they spend their time can visit the ClassVR virtual education room, where any space can be created – from a scientific laboratory to a military base. For visitors with children, Teleport offers a separate space with interactive walls, floors, and sandboxes. Interactive mirrors have even been installed in the restrooms: They react when visitors approach and broadcast 3D images on the glass.

Robotic Drones Prepare Pizzas and Burgers

Image: Belretail

Teleport’s VR cafe boasts the longest bar in Minsk. Instead of ordinary chefs, pizzas and burgers are prepared by robotic drones. “We want to make Teleport the main VR recreation center both for the people of Belarus as well as for tourists – a virtual Disneyland, where visitors can spend time with their families or in groups or celebrate holidays and corporate events. Inviting one’s date to experience another dimension will also prove to be very impressive,” Sergey Yurlevich, Director and Co-founder of Teleport Park said. He continued: “We understand that virtual reality is a fast-growing trend, and now we are taking steps that will allow us to not only stay in the entertainment industry, but also to become trendsetters in VR technologies.”

According to the creators, the main attraction awaits guests in PolygonVR – a gaming space for virtual fights, which combines two areas that comprise 240 sq m in total. Virtual polygon is the most advanced platform for wireless immersion in virtual reality, with full capture of body movement. The full-body tracking technology allows VR games to be played without restriction of movement. Thanks to special sensors, the entire body of a player is digitized and each movement is broadcast in VR, which creates the effect of maximum immersion into virtual reality. The project has its own unique feature: the ability to play in full PvP mode (player versus player), during which participants fight against each other.

Own Currency: VR Coin

Image: Belretail

Today, Teleport is the second major center showcasing VR development in the world. PlayVR and PolygonVR gaming platforms were created by Neurogaming, a well-known developer of technology and content for virtual reality. One of the shareholders of the company is Wargaming. According to the franchise, the company provided ready-made solutions for the VR amusement park, including the game content itself, technical equipment, as well as convenient control consoles, thanks to which games can be run and operational activities can be monitored from any tablet. A team of 200 developers worked on these technologies for more than 2.5 years. Cooperation with Neurogaming has been contracted for three years, so all of the company’s new VR products will primarily appear at the Minsk park.

The park has its own currency: VR coin. Ten VR coins are equivalent to one Belarusian ruble. A ticket to get a player started at Teleport costs 40 rubles – 400 VR coins. For this amount, visitors can ride on 10 game simulators or spend 45 minutes using PolygonVR. A ticket for a family of up to four people, which includes free pizza, costs 800 VR coins. Each guest will automatically become a member of the loyalty program and will be able to receive bonuses after each visit. This year, the creators are planning to open subsidiaries of Teleport Park at Galileo Mall as well as in regional centers throughout Belarus. Moreover, in February 2019, a package for the sale of franchises to companies in Kiev and Riga will be ready.