Leadership from 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley unveiled the new Omni Arena, a virtual reality gaming system, at Fort Riley’s SpareTime Interactive Entertainment Aug. 5.
“[It’s] cutting edge, and giving people something that no one else has a chance to do,” said 1st Inf. Div. Commanding General, Maj. Gen. D. A. Sims II.
This Omni Arena system is the first to be installed on a military installation. The platform allows players to enter the virtual game in a realistic way.
A seating area allows players to fasten sensor pads around their shoes before stepping into one of four circular pods. Players wear a stabilization band around their torso to help keep their balance, then they secure virtual reality headgear and hold on to two wireless controllers.
“The virtual reality environment continues to grow and we saw the Omni Arena as a great opportunity for Fort Riley,” said Tod Scalf, Program Director for Fort Riley’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. “The Omni Arena system is quite unique with four player pods that allow either individual play or team play and the ability to have the crowd watch and see the action on external screens. It is just like they are there inside, playing with their friends and family.”
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sims joined U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley Commander, Col. William B. McKannay, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy V. Speichert and Spc. Tyler R. Parmentier in trying out the new gaming system.
“It was intense - a good intense,” said Speichert. “The Soldiers are going to have hours and hours of fun here.”
The opening of Omni Arena comes during the 1st Inf. Div.’s ongoing Operation Victory Wellness, which focuses on building more resilient and stronger Soldiers, civilians and family members across the five dimensions of strength: physical, emotional, social, family, and spiritual.