I often say that The Office is the best thing that happened in the history of television so going to The Office Experience in Chicago was pretty exciting! My expectations were so high that I knew I’d be disappointed, but I wasn’t expecting a bad trip. Oh, well.
The Office Experience features original props and costumes from the series as well as set recreations. The experience hopes to be interactive and let the fans immerse themselves in the world of Dunder Mifflin, relive memorable episodes from The Office, and participate in some of the most iconic moments themselves. And take pictures while doing so. The immersive experience is at Chicago’s Magnificent Mile from October 15, 2021 through January 17, 2022.
But, the experience, it put me in a bad mood. It made me question this whole immersive experience industry. Because I went to a lot of these immersive experiences in these past few months and sadly I cant overlook that most of them lack creativity and love. This one did too.
It feels like these intellectual properties’ owners want to milk these contents’ already existing popularity, whether it’s a series like The Office, or a movie like James Bond, or an artist like Vincent van Gogh or Banksy, but they don’t want to add anything new or unexpected. It’s all very predictable.
I saw this trend of immersive experiences around popular things and thought they would be the future of how we consume content because our attention span keeps getting shorter and we prefer experiences over products.
So on paper, it makes sense for me to not be satisfied by watching The Office through a screen anymore and prefer being in “The Office” myself while I’m reminded of certain moments and items from the series.
But I doubt that it’s enough. I doubt that anybody is such a HUGE fan to be satisfied with this much, because I’d consider myself a super-fan, and I felt like I’ve already seen all of these. Why pay $50?
I believe my dissatisfaction stems from the fact that the organizers aren’t willing to put effort in creating an experience that would surprise us. They don’t want to make anything new. They just want to make more money out of something old. They are being lazy and not creative, which makes them money in the short run, but hopefully people will expect more. If we are paying at least $40-50 to these experiences, we do deserve more than a few photo spots don’t you think?
Maybe I am expecting too much, like I’m expecting a fish to climb a tree and then say it’s bad, maybe. Because if the experience is about creating a space, yes they did an amazing job creating “The Office”. It really feels like you are in the space they filmed the series. So if that feeling is worth $50 for you, then you should definitely go.
Plus, I enjoyed walking down the aisle the way the characters did at Jim and Pam’s wedding, and I got an answer right at Stanley’s crossword puzzle. So it wasn’t all so terrible. I guess I think The Office aesthetics are dull so the whole place is a bit boring when the characters are not around. But, I’d love to hear what you thought about it if you’ve also visited it.