Melbourners recently mourned the passing of their Mana Bar, but out of the ashes rose Beta Bar. Started by two former Mana Bar employees, Beta Bar has several arcade machines on show, with things like genuine retro games and newer Aussie indie stuff like Crawl. But its Oculus Rift, when combined with alcohol, seemed like both the worst and the best idea possible.
I still don't know whether to read "Beta" as "better", or "we're still working towards 1.0". Maybe I'm reading too much into it, and it's just "gaming reference".
When I was at the Beta Bar event just after PAX Aus, they had an Oculus Rift there, and at first the reaction was one of caution. Everyone would look at it and say "Are you sure that's a good idea?" No one used it for the first couple of hours.
But, as tends to happen, after people got a few beers in them, they became bolder. And whoever was using it looked like someone trying to do the snake, dialed up to 11. It was just as entertaining for the people watching, as it was for the person playing.
— Sweetasdude (@sweetasdude) November 3, 2014
I thought we needed video evidence of this, for... Um. For SCIENCE. Or something.
We didn't have anyone filming that night, but I asked Beta Bar owner Skaidris Gunsmith if he'd shoot some more drunk Rift players, and he came through. For a period at the end he tilts the phone to the side, which will make you look like a drunken Rift player just for watching the video, but we'll live. To be fair, I'd probably be doing this whether alcohol was involved or not.
Beta Bar is more of an "events" thing than an actual bar, and if you're interested, you should head over to the Facebook page. The one I attended was basically like an extension of PAX, except there was beer, and Divekick, and those are a few of my favourite things. It's currently just in Melbourne, but looking at doing Sydney events soon.