Bloomington business puts new twist on virtual reality

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There’s a new power player in Bloomington’s gaming world. 

“You know it’s not where you’re just sitting in front of the computer,” said Johnnette Palumbo. “Now you’re in a virtual reality world.”

Palumbo and her team are bringing the innovative and interactive concept of virtual reality to life with her new business, MassVR. In the space you’ll find single and multi-player gaming simulators, along with a 4,000 sq. ft., free-roaming VR arena. Palumbo says she and her husband came up with the multi-part business idea after a visit to a similar VR arena in Chicago. 

“So I started researching and researching and there’s no where in the United States that has simulators like this except for Universal Studios and I was not going to pay that kind of money,” she said.

In June 2018, Palumbo connected with manufacturers oversees to buy the simulators. After getting an investor on board, the whirlwind process took off.

MassVR had a soft opening in January and is expected to fully open in March. Palumbo says it’s a big accomplishment for them. But the fun and games are playing a role beyond entertainment. There’s also an educational component. 

She said, “With our simulators we have science content in them. We have where you can go ocean adventure and checking out all the different mammals and fish and different things under the ocean and also the universe.”

The business also offers traffic safety and drunk driving simulations that Palumbo hopes will help new drivers. 

“It’s going to give people a lot of fun and learning ability and learning experiences,” she said.


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