You’ve played pickleball outside. You’ve played it inside. But have you played it virtually?
You now have the chance, thanks to gaming company Playin Games, which on Dec. 12 launched the first virtual reality version of pickleball.
The game, Playin Pickleball, is designed for players both familiar and new to the sport and can be played on the Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset. According to Playin Games, gameplay was mapped by using footage from real-life pickleball games. The scoring, rules and regulations of the virtual reality game are also based on the 2022 rulebook published by the USA Pickleball Association.
Those who aren’t familiar with the sport can quickly learn the basics by accessing in-game tutorials designed to boost their skills. They can also work through various difficulty levels, moving up to new stages as they slowly master the game.
Players can match their skills against AI players — all of whom boast various skill levels — or they can play agains friends or other human competitors through Playin Pickleball’s multiplayer mode.
“Playin Pickleball is great for real-life players like me but also easy for newcomers to join the fun. I’ve tried every conceivable racquet sports app that even remotely simulates pickleball. This is what we’ve all been waiting for.”Steven, a pickleball enthusiast, and VR gamer quoted in Playin Games’ press release announcing the new game.
You can access Playin pickleball on Meta’s App Lab by clicking here.
Raghu Bathina, chief executive officer at Playin Games, said that one of the goals of the virtual reality game is to help people stay active and learn the game of pickleball, even if they do not have access to courts.
“Playin Games’ core mission is to use technologies like VR to help people stay active. We are strong believers in the positive impact of exercise on mental and physical health.”Raghu Bathina, chief executive officer at Playin Games, in a statement.
Dr. Sridhar Prathikanti, co-founder of Playin Games, said that the game is just another creative way to get people on their feet to learn what might become a favorite new sport.
“Our vision is to use XR-based games to get gamers off the couch while providing existing players a new way to enjoy their sport and hone their skill to optimum levels. Whether you are a serious Pickleball player or a parent/grandparent ready to enter the world of VR and play with your children, this is for you.”Dr. Sridhar Prathikanti, co-founder of Playin Games, in a statement.
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