It rests on the land chosen by a revolutionary. It was designed by an Irish immigrant, it was built by slaves, and it has been home to every president since John and Abigail Adams first came through its doors. It is the White House, the People’s House, and it belongs to all who call this country home.
So today, in a collaboration with Oculus and Felix & Paul Studios, the President and First Lady are using virtual reality to bring the history of the White House directly to you. Narrated by the President, “the People’s House” offers an intimate, 360-degree exploration of rooms in the White House residence and the West Wing, as well as a look back at some of the most significant moments that took place there over the past eight years. It’s a first-ever virtual reality experience with the President and First Lady in the White House. Here’s a preview:
The tour takes viewers through rooms in the White House like the Old Family Dining Room, as well as places that many Americans have never seen before: the Oval Office, the Situation Room, the Rose Garden, and the Treaty Room (the President’s private office). Through it all, you’ll hear the President and First Lady’s personal reflections on historic moments that occurred in each place, whether that’s the response to the economic crisis, the raid on Osama bin Laden, or his statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law of the land.
All of this reflects what President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wanted to do when they first step foot in the White House eight years ago. In 2009, they made it their particular mission to open wide the doors of this museum of American history to everyone, near and far. They invited the Girl Scouts to camp out on the South Lawn, they opened up the Old Family Dining Room on the White House tour, they got rid of the ban on photography for visitors, and more so the American people could see – and share – what it’s like to live here. Virtual Reality is the latest technology they can use in service of this mission.
After all, as the President said, each First Family is merely a "renter." This house, and the history made here, belongs to you.