Unreal: BOSS to add group virtual reality gaming to its adrenaline-spiked entertainment options

The Brookpark company that gets its thrills from high-speed and high stress relief activities has just added another outlet to its repertoire: virtual reality gaming.

Brad Copley, co-founder of BOSS Pro Karting and BOSS Axe Throwing, says that Zero Latency at BOSS Arena—a virtual reality free-roam gaming arena—will open on Tuesday, March 1 on the BOSS grounds, 18301 Brookpark Road.

“We’re all about adrenaline-filled experiences,” Copley says of the newest addition to the BOSS offerings. “There are very few times in life when you get to experience things for the first time.”

Zero Latency is one of only 11 free-roaming virtual reality (VR) gaming arenas in the country, where visitors can step out of their own worlds for an hour and fight zombies, battle pirates, explore an abandoned space station, or experience altered gravity—all in a 1,512-square-foot space.

“We’re blessed to share our passion with all of Northeast Ohio,” says Copley. “Your mind starts to play tricks on you, and it definitely transports you to a completely different space. You walk in, and all of the sudden you’re transported to an island in the Mediterranean, you’re [captured by pirates], and you have to fight your way off the island.”

Zero Latency is where visitors can step out of their own worlds for an hour and fight zombies, battle pirates, explore an abandoned space station, or experience altered gravity.

Copley says the arena is simply a wide-open space—a little larger than the size of a tennis court.

Groups of up to eight people can gather at the facility, put on VR headsets, strap into their backpacks and pick up their controllers before being transported into one of six virtual experiences. There are no wires or walls to run into, so guest can explore their worlds freely.

The experiences range from a G rating for family entertainment to PG-13. All but one of the experiences involve the group working together, while the Sol Raiders experience allows for four-on-four play. Copley predicts that VR version of the popular Ubisoft video game series Far Cry will be a hit among players.

The experiences are designed for players ages 12 and older, and Copley says the equipment weighs about 20 pounds. “It’s a workout,” he says of the VR play.

Copley and his cousin Lee Boss founded BOSS Pro Karting in 2016. They decided to add the axe throwing component last year during the shutdown. “One, we needed something to take our frustrations out, and two, we needed a way to kickstart the business when we reopened,” Copley says of the decision to add axe throwing to the go karts. “I went to the professionals [to design the axe throwing] and now we’re a certified league and have certified axe-throwing.”

Zero Latency at BOSS ArenaNot long after launching axe throwing, Copley says they decided they needed to add VR to the thrill-seeking clientele.

Sessions are 45 minutes long, which include a 15-minute period for suiting up and briefing, followed by 30 minutes of VR time. It costs $45 per person. Copley says they will accept walk-ins but recommends reserving the arena one week in advance. Individuals can come in and join another group, or groups of eight players can reserve the arena.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.