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Something in between padel, games and beach volleyball: "Ballistic" is the first virtual reality sport (and you can play it in Ghent) |  Ghent

Something in between padel, games and beach volleyball: “Ballistic” is the first virtual reality sport (and you can play it in Ghent) | Ghent

gentForget the baddies, forget football, forget FIFA 2021: According to Sport Vlaanderen, Ballistic, the first VR sport developed in Flanders, is the future. Sports Minister Ben Waits (N-VA) came in to play a game and fell nicely against the Sportwerk Vlaanderen experts. The question remains: is it fun?


Sophie Van Weinberg


Last updated:
20:30




Lots of folks at Top Sports Hall on Thursday: Flanders’ first VR sport, Ballistic, was presented there. Maybe VR and sports remind you of bowling with a Wii or playing a VR game for team building. But you usually don’t really sweat and that’s the point of Ballistic. Developers Triangle Factory and Sportwerk Vlaanderen came to showcase the game at Sportinnovatiebeurs.

Ballistic! © Wannes Nimmegeers

ballistics

Keep it in the crosshairs of the padel, volleyball, and fortnite. Because even if you don’t have a racket in your hands, you can run fast and you can follow what they see in their VR glasses on the screen behind the teams. Sweating with Impact: After hitting the back virtual wall three times, it explodes into pieces amazingly. So “ballistic”.

Arne Cosyns of Sportwerk, with Triangle Factory, took two years to develop the game. “We definitely want people to play it,” he says. “But of course you know you are a pioneer. Maybe in ten years we will look back on this match as the first that paved the way for the rest.”

Arne Cosyns, from Sportwerk Vlaanderen

Arne Cosyns, from Sportwerk Vlaanderen © Wannes Nimmegeers

scoop

it is fun. “You have to exercise it, of course, but those who exercise regularly will get away with it quickly.” It is very difficult to learn only the combination of hand movements. “Players will master it faster,” Cosyns says. Fellow protester Maryse Marchand agrees. “It’s so much fun to do, you just keep moving, but it’s something completely different because of the visual component.” Flemish Sports Minister Ben Wittes (N-VA) proved it took getting used to, as he came to demonstrate and was immediately beaten by experienced ballistic experts. Final score: 16-2.

No problem, Weyts is mainly for the creative side of the game. “We are very proud that today we can present the first sport in Flanders specially developed for virtual reality, the first ever.” The money, about 200,000 euros, came from Sport Vlaanderen, which supported a partnership between three companies. Park, Triangle Factory and Sportwerk Flander.

The new VR sport was introduced in the upper gym

The new VR sport was introduced in the upper gym © Wannes Nimmegeers

good wifi

You will soon be able to enjoy a game of Ballistic at the Top Sports Hall. It’s not very cheap: you can play with teams of 8, divided into four times by two teams, for three hours for 300 euros. “There will also be a VR bundle for gamers on the sidelines,” Cosyns explains. You can also set up Ballistic in your home, all you need is a squash court. Oh, and good WiFi, because the demonstration was a good half hour late when the connection in the upper gym turned out to be less than expected. Well, these are children’s shoes.

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