Remote immersive experiences have truly blossomed in the past year. I am continually blown away by the creativity and immersivity groups have brought to the table in a year of uncertainty and change. OBAKEN’s IF MUSEBIYA provides an incredible example of how the functions of Zoom can be effectively utilized to create an enthralling immersive experience.
OBAKEN is a group in Japan that has been creating various horror experiences since 2012. Past experiences include “Obaken Zombieland in Sanrio” in Sanrio Puroland and their first online horror experience “MANAGO – The Japanese Ghost Painting Introduction”. IF MUSEBIYA is their newest venture and an impressive one at that.
IF MUSEBIYA is an interactive horror experience that takes place entirely over Zoom. The story follows two girls, Maria and Sara, as they show the audience what a traditional Japanese house looks like. The house was Maria’s childhood home, but now lies abandoned and empty. Or so they thought. They quickly discover that they are not alone and must hide (and fight!) for their lives. With three different endings, the audience must make decisions to help the girls to survive.
IF MUSEBIYA kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire show. Multiple aspects melded together to create a high-stake show that relied heavily on audience interaction. The use of music and panic-stricken acting added an element of anxiety that was comparable to the anxiety one feels when bracing themselves for a jump scare. Moments of sketchy internet for the actor made the experience much more believable and added a sense of urgency. The interactions between the audience and the actor drove the show and were like that of an escape room. Keys were required to access areas and progress the story but proved to be an appropriate level of challenge. While the audience interaction created a nice sense of community during the show, it proved to be difficult to get a word in at times since there were moments where we were talking over each other.
Overall, I enjoyed IF MUSEBIYA. It kept my attention for the entire duration of the show, had a nice range of emotions, and even got my heart racing at one point. OBAKEN did an amazing job creating an interactive show over Zoom, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them.
Tickets are $35 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: https://obaken-event.wixsite.com/if-musebiya