Tencent is partnering with Ouyu Technology to open an esports hotel in Hangzhou, China later this month. It’s stuffed to the gills gaming hardware and rooms themed after esports leagues, and its guests will all be watched over by the all-seeing eye of VEEGY, a virtual hotel manager pulled from the blackest depths of the uncanny valley.
Appropriately, the video above makes the whole experience look a lot like spending a night inside a coruscating gaming PC, and the Chinese press release makes it sound more like a kind of esports-themed theme park ride and boot camp than an actual hotel for sleeping in.
Guests are urged to partake in a range of esports-themed activities, including five “esport talent tests,” evaluating things like eyesight, reaction time, and strategy, allowing them to “experience the training methods of esports players in an immersive way,” presumably without the gruelling hours-long training sessions (opens in new tab).
But the real centrepiece of the whole experience is VEEGY, the establishment’s discomfiting digital overseer who’s part manager, part coach. The hotel’s many features are all accessed “under the guidance of VEEGY.”
Guests can undergo the aforementioned esport talent tests, access up-to-date esport team rankings, and get “intelligent” viewing recommendations from her vast library of esports vids, among other things. From the looks of it, she’s present throughout the hotel and in every room, like a creepier but less threatening SHODAN.
Steam in your hands
(Image credit: Future, FromSoftware)
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If the thought of spending a night all watched over by a machine of loving grace (opens in new tab) appeals, VEEGY is more than happy to configure a room to your liking. Once you’ve decided whether to spring for one of the hotel’s five themed rooms (each of which corresponds to a particular esports league, like King Pro or Peacekeeper Elite), you can choose to load it with your own selection of esports hardware, ranging from mobile phones to elaborate gaming PC setups.
Tencent and Ouyu say the aim of the project is to break down the divide between ‘esports content’ and ‘hotel atmosphere’ that exists in other esports hotels across Asia, and boy does it look like they’ve done that. By making every part of the hotel mediated by their digital assistant, they’ve made it hard to tell where the esports end and the hotel begins.
It sounds exhausting to an old man like me, but if you’re looking for a spot to spend the night in Hangzhou, VEEGY is opening for business later this month.