joshua Fendley is a self-described virtual-reality skeptic. But he’s also a Star Wars fanboy, so when he learned that there was a Star Wars VR experience in Las Vegas in July—the same month he had to visit the Strip for his boss’s wedding—he had to check it out.
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire cost $36 and lasted about 15 minutes, during which Fendley visited the volcanic planet Mustafar while disguised as a stormtrooper to gather imperial intelligence. His vest, connected to a computer he carried on his back, vibrated when he was hit by enemy fire. There were special effects, like heat, wind, and a burning scent, and virtual objects mapped to real-world ones, like a blaster he could actually hold in his hands. At one point, he says, he reached out to touch a VR droid and felt it in real life. The experience blew his mind.
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