The adventures that The VOID have brought us, taking us to Mustafar, the internet with Ralph and Vanellope and busting ghosts with the Ghostbusters, have advanced the technology of virtual reality to a dizzying degree and CNet take a look at the work that The VOID and ILMxLAB have done.
Somewhere in a labyrinth of simulated Venetian canals in a Las Vegas mall, there’s a slick-looking glowing storefront that’s easy to miss. THE VOID, it says in large letters. Star Wars stormtroopers beckon from the windows.
Ralph Breaks VR launched last fall, and isn’t “new” for CES. It’s the first of five Disney experiences the company’s creating in partnership with ILMxLab, including one based on a 2019 Marvel movie (they won’t say which one yet). But it still wowed me, a seasoned vet of location-based VR, at a show already filled with other tech vying for my attention. It impressed both CNET editor Bridget Carey and myself, and worked a perfect blend of thrill ride and comforting onboarding. Even after all these years of VR, and especially with so much VR fatigue, good immersive design matters a lot. Even with heavy backpacks, I had a blast at The Void.
The Void’s immersive experiences have been running at 11 locations around the world, with a Washington, DC center coming soon. I last tried holodeck-like multiroom experiences in 2016, putting on a VR backpack and zapping ghosts in Ghostbusters Dimension.