Waterloo welcomes CTRL V, the first virtual reality arcade
Minutes away from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, is CTRL V, a not-so-typical, recently opened, arcade. Step aside, Dance Dance Revolution and classic pinball; it’s time to make room for headgear, futuristic black lights and simulations that place you as the main character of a game.
Headlining this new venture is Robert Bruski and his partners, Ryan Brooks and James Elligson.
As a Laurier alumnus having studied Economics, Bruski is making a major splash in the recently calm pool of entertainment.
This time, he’s returned to Waterloo to push forward another project: North America’s very first virtual reality arcade.
Having been an assumed exclusive form of entertainment, Bruski, Brooks and Elligson are bringing virtual reality to the mainstream and are doing so in their hometown of Waterloo, Ontario.
Choosing Waterloo may instinctively be a hassle-free decision for the natives, however as a business one must look objectively to assess the perfect location.
“Waterloo has the right population density to get this thing started and the right demographic in terms of interest—the right target market,” said Bruski.
Among the new co-op talent they’ve enlisted from the surrounding universities to help push CRTL V to the next level and the tech-driven culture that has emerged in the region as of late, Bruski understood that Waterloo had the need for this experience.
This type of entertainment is the first of its kind and it’s without a doubt making noise, as Bruski hinted at franchise opportunities coming in from all over Canada, the United States and even internationally from Australia and Dubai.
“With something like this you want to hit it fast and hard so that you can start to dominate the market because the only barriers to entry is the brand, which really isn’t much of a brand at the moment,” said Bruski, stressing the need to solidify their position in the market and expand.
Bruski has been seen making waves through his other entrepreneurial endeavours including Invisivision, and forms of dietary supplements.
Not only is Bruski introducing Waterloo to virtual reality gaming, but he also has other unique approaches to how we consume entertainment with Invisivision. This company has developed eyeglasses with two screens, allowing whoever wears them to view media right in front of their eyes. With a simple tilt of the head while wearing the eyewear, a user is able to view two different screens of action on the same screen.
At the Leadership in Business Conference, held at Laurier this past May, Bruski was centre stage with Ivisivision.
“A big continental film festival is going to be run by a big film company out in Vancouver in partnership with Landmark cinemas,” Bruski said.
“We are trying to negotiate with some other studios out of California to support it. That was an idea from an LIBC delegate and their team.”
Deciding to push forward with a virtual reality arcade as an entrepreneur would not have been a likely decision, however with the collaboration of his two partners, they were able to devise an implementation plan to make virtual reality in Waterloo accessible to the common consumer.
No more parties in LA? Bruski has however experienced the opposite.
Peaking the interest of the public is what a business hopes to do through their marketing and business operations, however this Laurier alumnus has gotten himself in quite the star-studded parties in LA.
Beers with Elijah Wood and dinners alongside Ricky Gervais and Will Arnett are a testament to just how impactful Bruski hopes to be in the entertainment industry.
Bruski says CTRL V has seen customers of every age, shape and form.
“We’ve had kids so young that the headgear didn’t fit on their head,” he said.
“We’ve had senior citizens, corporate events, students, gamers, bachelor parties and families with their kids for birthdays.”
With lines wrapping around the building during their demo day on May 28, the city was in desperate need for a game changing experience such as CTRL V.