Oculus Rift, Coming to a Chuck E. Cheese's Near You

Peter Mason tries the Oculus virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

Is this Facebook's plan to win back younger users?
Chuck E. Cheese's, the restaurant chain known for its appeal to the under-10 demographic, announced Tuesday it will begin offering an Oculus Rift experience at about 16 of its locations. The chain will provide the "Chuck E. Cheese Virtual Ticket Blaster Experience" on the virtual reality headset in select restaurants in Dallas, San Diego and Orlando this month.

"Kids today have unprecedented access to game consoles and tablets," said Roger Cardinale, president, CEC Entertainment, in a press release. "Our challenge is to deliver an experience not available at home, and there is no doubt virtual reality does just that. Oculus Rift technology is the next frontier in the gaming industry."
Chuck E. Cheese's is referring to the program as a six-week test. The experience uses 360-degree head-tracking technology and 3D to simulate the experience of being inside a Ticket Blaster, a booth with a running fan that sends tickets flying in every direction. The objective is to grab as many tickets as you can within a set amount of time.
The headset will be available at birthday parties in the restaurants where it's available; the "birthday star" will get a turn in the virtual game. The headset will register the number of tickets collected, which are redeemable at the merchandise counter.
The deal comes as Facebook is in the process of buying Oculus for $2 billion. The deal is expected to close before the end of June.
Though the partnership between Oculus and Chuck E. Cheese's may seem strange at first glance, the restaurant chain actually has Silicon Valley credibility: It was founded by Nolan Bushnell, the same entrepreneur who founded Atari.
BONUS: How Does Virtual Reality Work?

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