Best for a date: VR World
4 East 34th Street
This is an interesting moment for virtual reality. Most people can’t afford a VR machine (or rig) of their own, and if they can, as a representative at Manhattan’s VR World explained to me, they probably don’t have the resources to run the top-of-the-line VR experiences. Instead, most VR owners use a service called VRChat, pretending to be a portly version of the Sonic the Hedgehog character Knuckles while quoting Ugandan action movies. Fortunately, only a few blocks from Penn Station is the largest VR Center in the Western Hemisphere, with more than 50 virtual reality experiences to choose from.
VR World starts visitors off with a simulation called Richie’s Plank Experience, where you simply walk across a wooden plank on the ground. However, as soon as you strap on the headset you’ll immediately find yourself clutching the shoulder of the nearest VR World employee for dear life as you look down and find yourself between skyscrapers Man on Wire-style. From there, choices abound. Forty bucks gets you two hours to spend shooting arrows at elves in Elven Assassin, hunting zombies in The Brookhaven Experiment, boxing, singing karaoke, even making virtual reality graffiti — the list goes on. If you get tired or just need to decompress, there’s a full bar. VR World might be the only NYC option that allows you to play video games and impress a date with your creative choice of venue.