This commentary originally aired August 13, 2015.
Here in Wichita, we have access to what is, as far as I know, a completely unique gaming experience.
Fireshark Gaming is a gaming center where you can play a game that takes place all around you, and even underneath you. The game is played in a 33-by-20-foot room with up to 10 people. On the ceiling are a bunch of projectors, pointed both at the walls and the floor.
In the game available right now, the projectors put you in a vacated city block, complete with buildings and abandoned vehicles. You hold a controller in your hand and choose a giant robot to command, and the goal is to destroy the robots controlled by the other players. The experience is a lot like driving a radio controlled car, if your radio controlled car had lasers and machine guns.
The game has none of the disorientation that can sometimes happen with virtual reality games, but with a similar level of immersion. The sound effects were great, and I was also impressed with the visual design of the game.
There are other game modes, like Capture the Flag, and there are at least two other games in development. One, a racing game, should be available soon.
Kent Johnson, the owner and developer, told me that he originally built the concept in a shed at his house for his kids and their friends to play, and as he refined it, he looked to bring it to a wider audience. Fireshark’s space also includes a party room, and they host birthday parties, lock-ins, and even occasionally have BYOB nights posted on their Facebook page for the 21-and-up crowd.
All told, I had a great time at Fireshark, and I’m psyched that we have access to this new kind of game in Wichita.