The Oculus Rift has a new 3D experience to rummage around in: Jerry’s Place, which takes users inside an almost perfect duplicate of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment from the classic show Seinfeld. From the bike hanging in the hallway, to the Superman statue on the bookshelf, to the cereal box lineup in the kitchen, this game has it all.
Greg Miller is the game’s creator and says it took a month to construct the virtual environment. “I tried to be faithful to the show’s original props and its era,” Miller said, commenting on the meticulous work he did to assemble the apartment, “I did a lot of research and tried to find images of the original products used in the show.”
All in all there are 11 awesome episode references, or “Easter eggs,” for diehard Seinfeld fans to discover. But the lasting appeal has to be just the joy of hanging out in the most iconic set space in sitcom television history. The game is so immersive it will be hard for players not to feel like they are sporting a mullet and wearing a dress shirt that is tucked into stonewashed jeans.
The Oculus Rift is not for sale yet to consumers and isn’t projected to be until the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015, but people can purchase a development kit online for $300 from the official website to play. Developers are encouraged to integrate the hardware into their games and there have already been some fascinating creations. You can take an interactive trip through our solar system in the game Titans of Space, or immerse yourself in a horror experience with games like Alone. Gamers who are not satisfied to just be taken inside Seinfeld’s apartment should be elated that there’s some more meaty, well-funded projects coming up, like the space fighter Eve: Valkyrie, which is a CCP Games project for the Oculus Rift based on their Eve Online mmorpg game.
It’s nice to see the diversity of games that are coming out for hardcore gamers, but the initial market intrigue will likely come mostly from the casual gaming market. Jerry’s Place is the perfect example of casual appeal. Part of the Oculus Rift’s draw comes from its hardware, which is a headset, so when playing a game the user is placed in an environment and mostly just looks around. That is why discovery games are so popular for developers, and those discovery games will attract the players that would never sit down to play Call of Duty, or another more skill-based title. Hardcore gamers should not be deterred though, as the Oculus Rift is the perfect rig for first person shooters and will tackle that genre hard.
Jerry’s Place is just another jumping off point for more pop culture-referenced experiences, and surely just the beginning of Seinfeld themed content. It shouldn’t be long before players can explore other iconic environments like Monk’s Cafe or George Steinbrenner’s office at Yankee Stadium, and once developers populate the games with interactive characters from the show, gamers will be able to star in their own personal Seinfeld episodes. For now, the Oculus Rift is able to take you inside Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment, and that is something to marvel at.
Opinion By Matt Stinson