Hernando has joined the gaming world with the new virtual reality arcade, Virtual Reality HQ, located at 2631 McIngvale Rd., Suite 106. 

Owner, Yi Hyong (pronounced: E Young), said he opened the gaming studio to increase opportunities for recreation in his hometown of Hernando. 

“I have three boys, and anytime we want to do anything with the kids, we have to go out of town,” Hyong said. “I wanted to create some kind of venue where kids and adults could come play without leaving town.” 

Virtual reality is a popular choice of gaming that allows players to enter into the game or chosen reality. Hyong said this type of gaming is preferred because of its ability to engage the player. 

“It [virtual reality] utilizes a pair of goggles. Once you put them on, it becomes an immersive experience,” Hyong said. “You are in the universe of the gaming world, and rather than using a character in a video game, you are the character.”

Hyong said Virtual Reality HQ offers multiplayer games for those that enjoy social interaction while playing. 

“Where it really shines is you have multiple people on multiple headsets and you’re able to work together in the virtual world. It really is a neat experience,” Hyong said.

Due to the popularity of multiplayer games, Hyong said Virtual Reality HQ focuses on allowing gamers to work together in virtual realities like haunted houses and war scenes. 

“We focus a lot on multiplayer games,” Hyong said. “Things where you can shoot together, go through a haunted house together, and things like that.” 

Virtual reality is a concept that Hyong said will only continue to grow over the next several years. 

“Virtual reality is the new age arcade,” Hyong said. “The direction we’re headed into is social gaming, where everyone is able to play together. There is a lot of technology emerging within the virtual reality world that will continue to increase popularity.” 

While children make up most of Virtual Reality HQ’s customers, Hyong said that the number of adults participating has increased since their opening in September. 

“It always typically starts with the kids, but what we are seeing now is that on the next visit the kids might not even be there,” Hyong said. “Parents come out to date nights and group events and things like that.” 

Jaime Beadles, a customer of Virtual Reality HQ, said the new studio is fun for the whole family. 

“There are so many games to choose from now,” Beadles said. “There’s something for everyone. I think it's a perfect addition to Hernando and I am beyond thrilled that our community is supporting them.” 

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