Little League game attendees step into the batter’s box and swing for the virtual fences.
The Little League World Series is once again upon us, which means so are aluminum bats, abnormally-athletic preteens and violent groups of parents taking their children’s games entirely too seriously. However this week fans are getting an extra special treat on top of all the miniature baseball action in the form of a new immersive new VR baseball experience that lets users gauge their own skills in front of home plate.
Developed by interactive entertainment studio Groove Jones, Visionworks Big Hitter lets players enter a stadium, step up to the plate and swing for the virtual fences in an attempt to nail a digital home run. Using an actual bat equipped with a Vive Tracker at the handle base, participants will go toe-to-toe with a futuristic robot pitcher mathematically-designed to embarrass you from the mound with a series of calculated knuckleballs, technologically-advanced sliders, mechanized fastballs and various other robot-based pitches.
“We think VR is a great platform for giving baseball fans a real sense of what it feels like to stand out there giving it their best as they swing for the fence,” said Dale Carman, Creative Director at Groove Jones. “The game is great fun. Easy to learn and challenging to master. Just like the real sport.”
So at this point you might be wondering to yourself: Yeah okay, but why the heck is the experience sponsored by eye care service provider Visionworks? Well along with being a fun tie-in to the Little League series, the game also highlights the importance of annual eye checkups and protective eye wear for young children, specifically those engaged in physical sports. The game tracks player performance by keeping tabs on pitch count, hits and misses, demonstrating how one in four children suffer from some form of vision impairment.
“When your are out on the field and then your vision becomes blurred, it really drives the message home about how important it is to get your vision checked,” said Dale. “You see the ball coming and then wham, you can’t focus. It is really dramatic and reminds you how important getting your eyes checked annually is.”
Visionworks’ custom Big Hitter experience is available exclusively to Little League attendees August 17th to August 27th at the Family Fun Zone in Williamsport, PA.