How The Rec Room Helped Me Tell Better Stories

Ok, time to humble brag; I’ve been starting 2017 off right. This month, I knew it was time to celebrate. So, I headed off to the Rec Room for a night of Instagrammable appetizers and cocktails, axe throwing, and virtual reality.

I introduced myself in the foyer and was whisked through the maze of flashy arcade games to the Garage. The Garage is a dining area which, upon my arrival, was completely decked out with colorful cocktails and delectable desserts. The first cocktail I tried was cotton candy pink and came with a pink and blue striped candy stir stick. I have Celiac disease so I’ll consume anything that doesn’t have gluten in it, and luckily for me, alcohol is usually a safe bet. Bonus points when the drinks taste like a dessert.

After cocktails, I was feeling brave so I went upstairs to try my hand at axe throwing. With a couple drinks in me I no longer cared that I have the strength and grace of a baby mountain goat. I watched some people go first so that I could learn from their mistakes and practice my stance. I know that stretching and having a good stance are key when avoiding injury during physical activity. As a kid who consistently performed poorly in gym class, my goals during physical activity are to have fun, and avoid injury at all cost. When it finally came time for me to throw my axe, I nailed the stance, but the actual throws were terrible. It’s a lot harder than it looks! I got three tries (and a fourth bonus try) but I couldn’t get the rotation right. Even though I couldn’t hit the board I did manage to let out some of my pent up aggression!

When I retreated to the Garage to lick my wounds I discovered a surprise waiting for me. There was the most caramelly, decorated, luxurious ice cream sundae I have ever seen in my life. And yes, it was gluten free. The ice cream was so creamy, the candy chunks inside were so crunchy, and the daub of cotton candy on top was absolute perfection. If you have Celiac, you need to come down and get yourself one of these. Like, now. With dessert, I got a new cocktail that was spicy, citrussy, and had some delicious concoction of sugar, salt, and spice coating the rim of the glass.

I wasn’t the best at gym class, but I am good
at two things: crushing desserts, and playing video games. I had never tried virtual reality before so I was eager to give it a try. They hooked me up with a helmet and headphones hanging from the ceiling, and handed me a controller for each hand. There were six games to choose from, but I decided to start with something easy while I figured out the controls.

I work in an office during the day so I figured I would have an advantage in a game called “Job Simulator”. The differences between working in my office and Job Simulator are subtle but many: in Job Simulator, your desk toys respawn, you can throw things at your co-workers without getting in trouble, and you can clone objects right at your desk. The similarities between my office and Job Simulator reminded me of all the reasons why I love administration: the light work load, the unlimited supply of snacks and coffee, and the lack of urgency  lent me a feeling of peace and nostalgia.

I knew I was ready to move onto some other games. I mentioned I like games, but I really like the ones for the faint of heart. There’s a first-person zombie shooter game that I would highly recommend for the more adventurous readers in the crowd, but at most, I’m more of a Portal person. One of the games reminded me of Portal so I decided to try it next. I was having a good time until I unleashed some sort of angry robot that I couldn’t defeat, so I decided it was time to move onto one more game.

The space game caught my eye. It left so many unanswered questions: would it take place i
n a spaceship? Would I have to fight aliens? Would I be free-floating a la Sandra Bullock in Gravity? There was only one way to find out.

I selected my title and suddenly everything was black. Which is quite startling if you’re wearing a VR helmet and noise-cancelling headphones, but it’s all a part of the experience. Slowly stars, nebula, and other space matter started to fade in. I looked up, down, and observed my perimeter several times before realizing I was free-floating in space without a reference point. Then I realized the purpose of the game is to give yourself a reference point; you can choose between an array of universes which one you would like to experiment in, and then you can use the controls to create planets, stars, asteroids, lasers, and more. I’m no physics major, but I’m pretty sure they did their homework when it comes to how interstellar objects move. You can make anything you want, from a dozen supernovas to a quaint and functional galaxy. It felt like being in a lucid dream. I could have sat down on the ground and played around for hours!

My celebration came to a conclusion with another cocktail and a couple of arcade games. I know I’ll be coming back soon to share a sundae with my mom, compete with my friends, and stare off into space like the geeky gamer I am. With the addition of the Virtual Reality arcade, the Rec Room truly has something for everyone. That’s why the Rec Room is my first pick of the week; every week this year, I’ll be informing my readers and followers about my favourite places and things. So stay tuned! I have a few picks coming up that you can wear….





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