Would you go to a fake death simulator or try your hand at throwing an axe?
A couple of weeks ago, Xinglai (or Awaken when translated into English) opened its doors in Shanghai, China. It’s being called a death simulator, where participants go through a fake death and cremation in order to be re-birthed and gain a new outlook on life.
A group of people arrive at the death simulator and the experience starts with a staff member asking a question about life and death. Participants respond to the question by either volunteering themselves as a sacrifice or choose someone else in the group to become the sacrifice. An explanation also needs to be given as to why the person was selected.
The group votes for the person with the worst explanation to be sacrificed. The selected person is then asked to lie back on a moving conveyor belt which leads to a simulation of a crematorium eg. video projection of fire on the walls. The chosen person is then “reborn” by going through a fake womb made out of latex.
During the experience, the group is given the opportunity to write down their last thoughts on paper.
The paper can be kept or be shredded by choice. The creators of Xinglai built the experience to offer participants an opportunity to clear their mind and give them the ability to put issues into perspective.
The experience costs 444 yuan (or $68 USD) for two hours and accommodates 12 people at one time.
According to Mashable, Xinglai was originally suppose to be an escape room game where several challenges needed to be solved to escape the threat of being “killed”. After construction posed a problem, the team behind it had a rethink of their original idea.
Other places with “death simulators”:
May 2015: The Cremator, Window of the World Amusement theme park – Shenzhen, China
– People walk through a “morgue”, then are put into a coffin that travels down a conveyor belt and hot air is blasted at it
September 2014: Samadhi Death Simulator – Shanghai, China
– Classified as a escape room where everyone works together on tasks
2014: Xinglai – Shanghai, China
– Same name, different concept with a focus on mediation, life and death
February 2010: Coffin Academy – Daejeon, South Korea
– Participants write goodbye letters and then attend their own funerals, by being nailed into wooden coffins for 10 minutes and then released. In the darkness, participants are left to think and are suppose to come out refreshed, motivated and appreciate life more.
A/Maze Montreal which runs escape rooms in Canada have expanded their business offering by setting up Montreal’s Rage Academy, a place where axes can be thrown at large target boards from a distance.
And then Intervirals heard about axe throwing from a friend, finding out there was an axe throwing place in Australia.
Further investigation into axe throwing lead to CBC Canada who says the trend came about, “After an explosion of popularity across Europe that then moved into southern Ontario [Canada]”. Axe throwing seems to be popular in Canada, with the two biggest axe throwing businesses in the country being Backyard Axe Throwing League – BATL (2006) with 7 locations and Bad Axe Throwing (2014) which has 10 locations.
– Essa 🙂