The stark black walls inside Muse VR Club lay a blank canvas for the colorful virtual reality experiences available.
Khash Nejad has spent the last few months transforming a former antique store at 832 Texas St. into a modern gaming arcade, painting the interior and exterior and installing numerous gaming stations.
Pops of color are provided by bright blue and yellow chairs and the colorful lights on some of the PC consoles.
At the arcade, you can play games, watch Twitch — where gamers livestream their playtime online — watch movies or engage in a wellness program such as painting, meditation or a city tour.
Behind the counter, Nejad displays some of the current games available for PlayStation and XBox. He has 12 PCs, five PlayStations and one XBox. All of the PCs are VR-capable for the Oculus Rift.
In VR, you can play a regular video game, enter a virtual escape room or get immersed in an experience like the ocean or outer space.
“SUPERHOT VR” is a “full body” experience — every move or punch you make in real life determines whether you win or lose — and “Mission: ISS” is a movie set in space, but without a director.
“When you are in VR movies, you are part of the movie, so your actions can change it,” Nejad said.
There are also a pair of racing simulators set up toward the front of the arcade, and even virtual reality massage therapy — two massage chairs are set up for customers to sit and wear a headset while they relax.
Nejad is also in the planning stages of starting VR meditation and workout classes.
In general, Muse’s audience is between 9 and 35 years old, though it’s generally a mix of people who walk in from the street or saw flyers or posts on social media.
They also have seen business from the martial arts studio next door.
This is Nejad’s first business of this type, but the entrepreneur has started and sold multiple other online businesses.
He works in San Francisco and lives in Walnut Creek, but became acquainted with Fairfield when his wife was working for Genentech.
“I stopped by a few times and I liked it,” he said. “It’s a nice city.”
He wanted to open the arcade because he feels education should start with a passion for the subject. Games are a fun way to engage young people in technology.
“We have problems with people going into STEM majors, and you can’t force it,” he said.
The concept behind a game can help develop skills needed for a tech career.
“When I was a kid, I remember I spent more time with computers than any other subject, just because it was fun,” Nejad said.
Now he has been in the tech industry for 20 years, working for startups and large corporations. He is currently director of engineering at Ebay.
Some of his past projects include an event planning startup he started with three other people — Ebay bought the company — and a social marketplace for women’s clothing.
He hopes to foster a community at his arcade and inspire the next generation.
“I think VR has the potential to solve a lot of problems we currently have,” he said.
Muse has hosted weekly Fortnite tournaments since opening and weekly Overwatch tournaments start Thursday.
The arcade is open from 2 to 10 p.m. except on Saturdays, when it is open from 12 to 8 p.m.
Pricing is $10 per hour for console games and $30 per hour for VR.
For more information, visit www.musevrclub.com.