How We Are Mitigating COVID-19 in Our Arcades
Updated: May 14
Each player has their own, sterilized equipment for the duration of their session.
Players stand more than 6 feet apart. Groups of players are separated into different VR "bays." You won't have anyone in your bay that didn't arrive with you.
We are deep cleaning headsets and controllers, rotating out equipment between players and increasing time between sessions so only one group is in the lobby at a time.
You must make a reservation online before you arrive. A limited number of spots are available each day.
As Tennessee begins to re-open the local economy, there is no doubt our businesses and our lives will look a lot different in the wake of COVID-19. The Rabbit Hole VR is no exception.
In many ways, the virtual world is one of the safest ways to interact with others during a time like this because of the limited in-person contact. You can still see, hear and play together while remaining 6 feet or more away from each other or touching shared objects.
While traditional sports require players to pass a ball from one person to another with no sanitation in between, VR allows you to play games together without sharing equipment or personal space. Each player has their own equipment for the duration of their session and stays more than 6 feet apart in the real world – even if they are standing side-by-side in the virtual world.
Each headset and controllers are thoroughly cleaned between users so there is less risk than, say, a bowling alley or basketball game where equipment is shared throughout the activity. But we are of course taking additional steps to ensure the safety of our customers and our staff, including:
INCREASED DOWNTIME BETWEEN SESSIONS. We typically allow 15 minutes between groups so our staff time can clean and reset the equipment. We have always sanitized headsets and controllers between every. single. player. and we have never allowed headset sharing during sessions for sanitary reasons. But now, we have increased this time to 30 minutes to allow our team to give an even deeper clean and to allow the previous group to exit the arcade before the next group arrives, further minimizing human-to-human contact.
Our sterilization routine includes:
Using Clorox wipes on the controllers and parts of the headset that do not come into contact with your skin (this can cause irritation for some players).
Using medical-grade alcohol wipes on parts of the headset that do come in contact with your skin.
Increasing use of UV-C light wands to kill any remaining germs. More on that below.
Wiping down the computer mice and keyboards our staff uses to get your equipment ready before you hop into the VR headset.
MORE UV-C LIGHT USAGE. We have been using UV-C wands to disinfect our headsets since we opened, but this was typically done a couple times per week in addition to cleaning the headsets after players. Now, we are integrating UV-C light into our regular cleaning routine.
According to Alex Berezow, a microbiologist who has published multiple articles on the topic, “UV light is lethal to bacteria and viruses because of its high frequency that scrambles and damages their nuclear material. When it damages the DNA (or RNA) code of these pathogens, it also triggers lethal mutations that prevent them from reproducing properly.”
The UV light wand we use is designed to kill 99.9 percent of surface bacteria as well as most viruses and mold spores. We have also created a UV light box that we can put larger objects into for sterilization. You can read more about how UV light is effective against killing viruses on Business Traveler.
CONTACTLESS CHECK-IN. All new players are required to sign a liability waiver before their VR session at The Rabbit Hole VR. Our waiver is now available online so you can complete it at home before you head in. Your reservation confirmation email should include a link to the waiver and you can also find it online here.
When you arrive, a team member will check you in while remaining 6 feet apart, you will watch a quick safety video and be escorted to your designated VR stations. Your group will be in the same bay together, away from other groups by at least 10ft or more. Players within your group will also be standing more than 6 feet apart.
RESERVATIONS ONLINE. Our arcades will slowly re-open and only on a limited basis in May and June, per the local government rollout plan. Until further notice, you will need to make a reservation online at least two hours ahead of time before you arrive to play. Otherwise, our team will not be on-site and you will not be able to walk in. This is to help us maintain social distancing and thoroughly monitor who is coming in and out of our locations. We apologize for the inconvenience but appreciate your understanding.
The Franklin (Cool Springs) location is now open! Reservations can be made here.
PRIVATE PARTY OPTIONS. We are developing new private party options to allow you and your family to come in and play without the risk of any other players in the arcade. This blog will be updated with these new options as they are finalized.
ON-THE-GO RENTALS ON HOLD. We love bringing VR to events and parties as a unique activity for attendees! Unfortunately, the large crowds and high throughput of these events doesn't make it safe for players right now. We have decided to suspend our On-The-Go Rental services until at least June 15th. If you are planning an event or party for the fall or for 2021, please still reach out to us and we will discuss the safest options for your event.
All of these measures are being taken in addition to our general enhanced cleaning of all high-touch surfaces around the arcade including doorknobs, countertops, etc. and providing hand sanitizer to players before and after VR sessions with sanitation stations throughout the arcade. We will be continuously rolling out additional measures to mitigate the spread of germs as we start phasing our business back in and finding new best practices for operating with the public.
It will be a long time before we get back to the way things were – if we ever do. In the meantime, we will do everything we can to keep our players and our staff safe and healthy.
Have more questions about our sanitation practices? Please reach out to us at email@example.com.