The White House Is Our House The White House Is Our House: A CD-ROM VISIT CyberToys Home Page

Platforms: Macintosh 68040 and Power Mac, Windows 3.1 and Windows 95
Version 1.0 released December 1, 1997

CD PackageThe White House Is Our House: a CD-ROM Visit is a state-of-the-art multimedia educational and consumer product for the Macintosh and PC, created with the participation and cooperation of the White House Historical Association, White House Usher’s Office, and the White House Curatorial Staff. The product provides students, teachers, and consumers with a behind-the-scenes look at the White House, its history, and the rich collection of paintings, furniture, and other historic objects contained within its walls.

Through the magic of Apple's QuickTime VR technology, the White House itself becomes the interface to all of the images, data, and activities contained on this CD. Users may choose from a number of tours, focusing on the general history of the White House, topical tours in a variety of interest areas, or to explore the White House or its grounds on one’s own. Once inside an individual room, space, or garden, the QTVR technology allows the user to look and move about freely, as well as to examine the paintings, furniture, china, and other objects in more detail. Historic photos may be accessed, and digital video of events in the room may be viewed. Vocal narration, in the form of stories, anecdotes, and hard facts are provided by White House Curator Rex Scouten, Head Usher Gary Walters, and others.

Tools such as a Note Pad, Sketch Book, and Treasure Box are provided to facilitate interactive activities which are suggested during the tours, and to provide teachers with frameworks for classroom activity. These activities are further developed in the Teachers’ and Parents’ Guides which accompany the program. Both content and tools are presented in the context of a finely crafted interface which takes the form of a rosewood box with brass fittings, embossed text cards, and a sliding panel revealing the Treasure Box below, all carefully modeled and rendered using sophisticated technology tools to evoke the real materials which might well be found in the White House itself. The program will engage users through first-class content, cutting edge technology, innovative design ideas, and entertaining and educational activities.

The White House Is Our House will increase the expectations of students and teachers in how content can be delivered, and will raise the standard by which products of its type are judged. In addition to designing and developing the software, CyberToys’ involvement in this project has included the acquisition of photographic resources and the management of data, imagery, and other media specified by the editorial team.

The White House Is Our House is produced by Autodesk, Inc., for The White House Historical Association in cooperation with The American Architectural Foundation.

Try out the The White House Is Our House on the web! Click here for a test drive.

Rosewood Treasure BoxMusings On A Rosewood Box by program designer Ray C. Freeman III.

A discussion of the ideas behind the program's unusual interface.

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