In a world first, the creators of Vantablack, the super-black coating that holds the world record as the darkest substance made by man, have created the world’s darkest room ever to play Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4. A special version of Vantablack known as VBx2 has been applied to every wall of a unique gaming space as part of a one-of-a-kind, architectural experience for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, launching globally on Friday, October 12th. Dubbed the Black Ops House, this unique space in which practically all natural light is absorbed, creates an optical effect of playing the game within an endless Blackout.
UK based Surrey Nanosystems developed Vantablack for use primarily in space applications due to its unique properties that absorbs 99.965% of natural light. The VBx2 coating, used to create the Black Ops House, was designed to reduce reflected light to such a level it becomes extremely difficult to discern any surface features on an object, making a three-dimensional object appear as a mesmerizing, two-dimensional black void.
Both the internal and external structure of the Black Ops House have been coated in the VBx2 coating. People entering the Black Ops House first walk down an unsettling 40 metre-long raised platform as they approach the structure, creating the sense of walking into a pitch-black void. Sliding doors open to reveal a PlayStation4 Pro and monitor, immersing the player in the unique gameplay experience.
Ben Jensen from Surrey Nanosystems said: “Since developing Vantablack we have had the opportunity to work with like-minded partners to deploy our coatings in new and imaginative ways. We’re all huge gamers and fans of Call of Duty so when Activision got in touch and we began discussing ideas, we couldn’t wait to bring the project to life. This is the first time we’ve ever created a room that is completely covered in the VBx2 coating, so is the darkest man-made room ever created. The future of entertainment is all about more and more immersive experiences. What could be more immersive than this?”
David Tyler, VP, Call of Duty, Activision, added: “Black Ops 4 delivers the deepest, most engaging Black Ops game that Treyarch, has ever created, so this is an incredible opportunity to create a space to match. The Black Ops House is an endlessly dark gaming space, completely immersing the player in the action of the game. Whether playing the all-out combat in Multiplayer, experiencing the all-new battle royale mode, Blackout, or the thrill of Zombies; this one-of-a-kind gaming experience raises the excitement to a whole new level. It’s been a fascinating and fun way to celebrate the launch of Black Ops 4 later this week.”
Among those playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in the Black Ops House were Dele Alli, who said: “It was a great experience playing Black Ops in the blackout environment, it felt like I was in the game! I wish I could get my own blackout room!“
The Black Ops House was designed by Asif Khan, the award-winning London-based design studio working at the cutting edge of architecture and technology. Commenting on the project, Asif Khan said: “Like many of my generation, I grew up gaming at home, with the living room and TV being the default scenery, but here we had a chance to reimagine the whole sensory experience of gaming. We heighten the player’s perception of space and time, from the moment they step up onto the black walkway, to the door which appears from nowhere, to then being enveloped in an infinite void. As an architecture studio we are dedicated to exploring and augmenting human experience. We are so excited here to have been given the opportunity to blur the boundaries between spatial design and digital experience.”
Attendees to the experiment were able to play Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer and witness Zombies and the mode, Blackout. To see more photos, footage and reaction from Black Ops House head to https://blog.activision.com/t5/Call-of-Duty/Playing-Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-4-in-Total-Blackout/ba-p/10849538
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.