Every new medium provides its own challenges and opportunities for humor. How can humor and comedy work in immersive experiences, and how can the unique attributes of VR be used to make comedy? The Accountant is a 360º video that explores aspects of comedy in VR.
Every new medium provides its own challenges and opportunities for humor. Virtual Reality is an easy target for jokes, but can it be used to to create laughs that aren't self-referential? Without a frame it's difficult to perform comic reveals, manage timing, or direct focus. A sense of immersion and presence seems opposed to the distance often needed for laughter. But perhaps the freedom to explore a scene at your own pace, and the potential for immersion and even interaction, afford other comedic possibilities. I examine a few different ingredients of comedy and how they work in VR, and offer two pieces as possible templates: a multi-player room-scale pie fight and a short comic narrative sketch in 360º video that puts the viewer in the middle of a Mob shakedown as it goes off the rails.