Harveys Lake gamer wins PlayStation VR from Taco Bell with free online code
HARVEYS LAKE — A recent Taco Bell promotion offered a chance to win the new PlayStation virtual reality headset and one local man won the prize without spending a dime at the restaurant.
James Ruggles, 28, obtained a free code through Taco Bell’s website and entered it daily to win a PlayStation VR launch bundle valued at $499. The bundle includes the virtual reality headset, two PlayStation Move motion controllers and a PlayStation Eye camera. PlayStation VR hit stories on Oct. 13, but codes to win one became available Sept. 15. Once acquired, they could then be entered every day online or via text message.
Ruggles said he’d visit the website every day, enter the code, acknowledge the “try again” message that popped up and go about his day. Then, on Oct. 10, the usual message was replaced with a confirmation number.
“I was like, ‘Oh, OK, that’s not the same,’ and I couldn’t believe it,” Ruggles said. “I’ve been getting nothing but messages from people saying, ‘I’ve never met anybody that has won that sort of contest so now we believe in it, it’s a real thing.’ All my coworkers started doing it now, too.”
The prize arrived at Ruggles’ home Oct. 13. The next morning Ruggles said he couldn’t wait to get home from work and jump back into the virtual world. He said he had experience with the Google Cardboard, an affordable virtual reality headset that uses smartphones, but the PlayStation VR was a completely different experience.
“It blew my expectations out of the water,” Ruggles said. “Putting it on and the field of view and just kind of getting transported.”
Ruggles said looking down at his hands while playing “Batman: Arkham VR” and seeing the caped crusader’s gloves in their place was “surreal.” Racing in the virtual reality world made his body react as if he were actually driving.
The simulated experiences don’t play havoc with Ruggles, but he has some tips for those new to virtual reality: take breaks every 40 minutes to an hour and have ginger candy at the ready to relieve any nausea.
As for his intentions to enter future contests, the experience has changed Ruggles’ outlook.
“It’s not something I usually do because I never win anything like this but now yes, absolutely,” Ruggles said.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts