Inside Otherworld, Columbus' New Interactive Art Installation

Columbus Alive staff
Jordan Renda, Founder and Creative Director of Otherworld

There’s nothing virtual about this reality.

Chances are you’ve heard about Otherworld, the 32,000-square-foot immersive art and technology installation that recently opened on Columbus’ East Side. The space’s fantastic, tech-heavy and often outsized pieces make for great shareable images on social media. (On a recent staff visit, one employee noted the space’s growing presence on local Instagram accounts and joked that the next social media frontier was to become the go-to locale for profile photos on the dating app Tinder.)

But those images, and the regional and national news stories that have started to accompany them, offer only a glimpse.

Maybe you’re still not quite sure what to make of Otherworld. Perhaps knowing it’s patterned after City Museum in St. Louis and Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf still doesn’t provide a clear picture. Perhaps even reading Otherworld described as “part haunted house, part real-life first-person video game, part interactive movie set and part outsized art installation,” as we wrote in Alive after our first visit to the then-still-under-construction space, is a good start but ultimately unsatisfactory.

So we went next-level. Alive recently sent five staffers — four writers and a photographer — through Otherworld, not on a media tour, but to experience it as any visitor would, or at least might. Every visit will be unique, and you still might not have as clear an idea as you’d like, but hopefully this brings you a little closer.

Read about the Columbus Alive staff's experience at Otherworld and see photos from their visit.