We've come a long way since Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.
Gone are these staples of most arcades that kept kids entertained on rainy days in the 1980s at resorts in the Pocono Mountains. In 2017, at least at one of the region's newest resorts, video gaming has become a bona fide activity that involves far more than a hand on a joystick.
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Pocono Township, Monroe County this month opened "The Arena," one of only three nationwide. The attraction is billed as "the only free-roam, warehouse-scale, multiplayer virtual reality gaming experience currently on the market."
Participants wear virtual reality goggles and explore computer-generated landscapes on a more than 2,200-square-foot game floor. Up to six can play at once and compete for high scores. Everything's tracked in real time.
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The computer-generated landscapes are part of two different games the attraction is currently offering: "Zombie Survival" and "Engineerium."
In the former, participants are transported into the bunker of a fort during a zombie outbreak and need to destroy the undead crowds using futuristic weapons. The latter is puzzle game set in an alien world where players walk among colorful characters such as flying whales.
Both games are restricted to participants 13 and older. Fifteen-minute time slots for both games costs $25. They can be booked on the resort's website.
Kalahari is among several resorts in the Poconos that have made a push to bring in more amenities. Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark and Blue Mountain are among other resorts that have also either expanded or announced plans to expand in recent years.
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