Inside Abe’s Office

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE0UFgyY4HY

The director of the CollegeHumor VR Story “Inside Abraham Lincoln’s Oval Office,” Michael Schaubach has been working with CollegeHumor for almost ten years, and sticks within the realm of comedy is regards to the type of content he is associated with. The producer Shane Crown is also solely known for his work with CollegeHumor Normally, CollegeHumor tends to stick with more conventional platforms to tell a story, so VR could be considered a bit out of their comfort zone. It is indeed a new challenge to take on a method such as this, but it seems that CollegeHumor did a fine job of preserving their unique touch which intertwining it with a modern phenomenon.

This VR story transports the viewer into the oval office when President Lincoln was president making some of his most notable decisions. Of course, CollegeHumor throws a comedic twist on the storylines to make the historic events a bit quirky, interesting, and inaccurate.

To a degree, there is a three-point structure to this story. Characters build towards the beginning, the script guides us through the plot, and the end has us all anticipating a final decision/answer. However, it is not so clear-cut that it comes across as uninteresting; it works for the context.

The characters were, in my opinion, the most important aspect of this VR story. Without them, it would just be an empty, silent, office with no action, only still objects to look at and be bored with after 60 seconds. I wouldn’t say this story used clear-cut emotion, but rather anticipation, and even minor stress. At some points, there were many people crowding the office with demands, complaints, or other statements. This is not a bad thing because it added to the story and feelings of the viewers; it expressed the overwhelming job of the president. I, along with other reviewers, believe that the space was never boring and there was always something to look at in the office.

As mentioned before, this VR story was heavily driven by the script spoken by the characters. Of course the location was significant, but the same story likely could have been convey just as well in another building. The experience was not that exciting or unique, but it served its purpose and was entertaining for what it was. I believe that with this storyline, VR was the most appropriate method. If I were to watch this in a plain video format, it would not be nearly as interesting. Reading it in a comic or other literary platform would likely work considering this is heavily character/script driven, but the VR experience takes it to the next level.

Honestly, my biggest critique is that I thought that this was just too long of a story. It was interesting for the first 4 min, but I felt that it drug on for the last 2 min and I was anxious to get to the end. I felt that there were a few too many plots going on at once and the acting was a bit poor. The camera placement was fine and I felt like a fly-on-the-wall, but there being only one location was a bit dry towards the end, which is why I felt that 6 min was a stretch.

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