I really dislike people who say “I’m bored” and expect something to happen on a whim. Either stop being boring or go out there an make something happen. A few weeks ago I wanted to explore the Leake Street Tunnel (also known as the “Banksy Tunnel” or “Graffiti Tunnel”) as I heard there was a street art competition going down and during my casual wanders I stumbled upon the House of Vans indoor skatepark, the opening of which I covered this time last year. Serendipity and all that 🙂
House of Vans Virtual Reality
At it’s core House of Vans is an indoor skate park, a live music venue, an art gallery, a cafe, a bar, and a cinema. It’s basically a cultural hub for the new generation of young Londonders which is why it was fascinating to see how they would react to the VR headset that accidentally fell out of my bag. I think the picture on the left is very telling with a 5 year old instantly hooked on the virtual reality experience.
House of Vans was actually a perfect place to test out this medium as it was in this very venue where I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, a movie that continues to have strong cultural and somewhat historical significance. The introduction of VR into the mainstream is going to turn a number of established industries, such as film, on it’s head. In a world where everyone is looking for that fulfilling experience, whether it’s skateboarding or a piece of art, the progress of technology will bring us closer to that intangible feeling.
The fascinating thing about the picture above is that the kid is not even using a full VR headset. It’s just a mobile phone with a virtual reality case that anyone can get for less than £10. With the latest 360 video capabilities of YouTube I expect everyone to have an understanding of this experience by this time next year. If you ever tried VR please leave a comment below, I’m truly interested as to what you thought of it.
House of Vans, London
House of Vans itself was filled with some fantastic individuals who clearly appreciate the opportunity Vans has provided and take care of it as one big family. The place providers lockers, food and other on site assistance should you require it but it’s worth popping in for a visit (it’s free!) and see the venue in full.
Make sure to visit the official House of Vans website to get the full list of upcoming events (Back To The Future next week anyone?) or just pop in for a visit if you’re in the area:
Address: Arches 228 – 232 Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW