How I Became a Ghostbuster

Suit up for battle with all things ghostly in THE VOID’s "Ghostbusters: Dimension" made possible by the new GeForce GTX-powered VR experience.
by Victoria Rege

I love the smell of burning marshmallow in the morning.

Put on your proton pack and step into a new GeForce GTX-powered VR experience created by THE VOID. It’ll blow apart old ideas about virtual reality just as surely as the Ghostbusters blew up the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Ghostbusters: Dimension — which made its debut at Madame Tussauds in Manhattan’s Times Square this summer —- is the first example of a new kind of experience that its creators call “Hyper-Reality.” It blends sight, sound, touch and even smell to immerse you in another world.

Hang on to Your Proton Packs

To begin this 10-minute journey into the world of the Ghostbusters, I put on a haptic vest, strapped on a proton pack —  known as THE VOID’s Backtop, which conceals a backpack PC with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 — and picked up my “proton gun.” Then, I joined three others on a 30-by-30-foot stage that, once i put on my VR headset, became the sprawling environment of a haunted apartment in New York City.

The result: an experience that’s much more than just visual. When a ghost passed through my chest I could feel the impact — thanks to the vest I wore — and then look down to see that I’d been “slimed.” I picked up the sweet scent of roasted marshmallows as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man meets his sticky demise.

I could even reach out and touch objects thanks to the GPU strapped to my back, which instantly mapped the images it put in front of my eyes to the physical world around me.

Responsive VR Is Key

Ghostbusters Dimension
Ghostbusters Dimension

Coupling virtual and physical worlds so tightly means the team at THE VOID needs the VR piece of this experience to be incredibly responsive.

“The NVIDIA GeForce GPU has made a huge difference in just how far we have been able to push the bounds of reality,” says Curtis Hickman, Chief Creative Officer at THE VOID. “Great quality and speed are required to immerse guests into these new worlds, and the VR ready GPU gives us both.”

More new worlds are coming.

THE VOID, based in Utah, is using NVIDIA GPUs to create new hyper-reality experiences — such as “Curse of the Serpent’s Eye, which takes you into an ancient Mayan tomb — that blur the lines between gaming, movies and more traditional attractions.

“Creating new worlds that look and feel real is a huge undertaking and having NVIDIA by our side allows us to push the limits of the hardware in a continual R&D process,” says James Jensen, chief visionary officer at THE VOID. “These relationships are critical in our quest for the ultimate hyper-reality worlds we want to visit.”

With enthusiasts already hooking up consumer headsets to their gaming PCs, this promises to introduce many more people to what VR is capable of — and give us all a peek of where it’s going next.