Tulsa Tech Company Creates Virtual Reality Boxing Game

Engine Room Boxing Gym is home to Engine Room VR, the tech company that developed the boxing game Golden Gloves VR.

Tuesday, April 23rd 2024, 9:53 am

By: News On 6, Alyssa Miller


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A Tulsa boxing gym is knocking out the competition in the virtual reality space.

Engine Room Boxing Gym is home to Engine Room VR, the tech company that developed the boxing game Golden Gloves VR.

The owner, Aaron Sloan, is a certified USA boxing coach, judge, and referee. He first opened his gym in Owasso in 2009 before relocating to Tulsa in 2014.

Sloan said while his first love is boxing, he has always been a tech enthusiast. "About 6 or 7 years ago I started toying with the idea of doing virtual reality for Esports," he continued saying, "When I saw that the headsets were going wireless, I decided we might be able to do this for boxing."

Engine Room VR partnered with USA Boxing to give the game a realistic look. Even going as far as to model the boxing gym and arena inside the game after the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Sloan also had connections to the brand Golden Gloves and was able to acquire the naming rights for the game.

"I think what makes our [game] different is that with my boxing background and our connections to the sport we have been able to better capture the physics of real boxing," said Sloan.

The game is also another tool his boxers can use in training. Sloan describes it as a form of shadow boxing.

"You do not have to get punched in the face so that is different," he said laughing. "You do not have to feel any pain, but you can still work on your hand and eye coordination, slip punches, and it is an extremely hard work out."

Even those who are not boxers are playing the game. Golden Gloves VR hosts online VR boxing tournaments with the top players getting invited to national competitions.

"The top players will box off live against all the other boxers in VR, and then they will be awarded the same national championships and ranking system that the other boxers are," said Sloan.

This comes at a time where the International Olympic Committee is pushing to get Esports into the Olympics. 

Golden Gloves VR is leading the way with members of the 2024 Olympic Games USA Boxing Team being ambassadors for the game.

Sloan even took it a step further commissioning artist Gabe Gault to create an in-game digital mural celebrating amateur boxer Morelle McCane.

She is the first female boxer from Cleveland, Ohio to qualify for an Olympic Games. 

"I had seen a painting he had done on Mike Tyson, so I reached out to him and said what do you think about doing a virtual mural in the game, it has not been done before, and he loved the idea so we collaborated," said Sloan.

Players can view the art and play Golden Gloves VR by logging into the game with a Meta Quest virtual reality headset.

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