Recreating a near death experience

5witssmaller2.jpgIf you’re familiar with the movie Life Of Brian you’ll remember the “sandal scene” where the followers of Brian all declare that people should hold up their sandals as a sign of the messiah, with the dissenters saying “no, we must follow the gourd!” and then an argument ensues. It’s all very funny and it reminds me somewhat of the ritual of trendspotting which seems to be very popular lately. Yet I can’t deny my curiosity over the cultural shifts entrepreneurs create when coming up with innovative ideas. So I checked out Guy’s (and Mark Newman’s) recommendation for a similar site called Springwise and found I really enjoyed the organization and collection of creative ideas highlighted there. We humans can be such clever creatures sometimes.

One of them is an urban amusement park in Boston called 5W!TS (five wits), “…a venue and the producer of an interactive, walk-through adventure game. Think of it as an urban amusement park, with just one ride: a very elaborate, very high-tech haunted house. 5W!TS’ first show is TOMB, a 40-minute adventure set in a realistic rendition of an archaeological dig site in Egypt. In groups of 2-15 people, and accompanied by a guide, participants try to make their way to the pharaoh’s burial chamber. Unlike regular attractions, the path and story of the adventure aren’t fixed, but depend on whether participants are able to solve challenges and avoid traps along the way. Not every team makes it to the burial chamber, and losers are faced with a faux death experience before leaving the game.”

Okay, so there is a bit of breathless hype in the advertisement for this park, but stay with me here for a moment. I know this suggestion is a bit odd (or maybe not, coming from me), but how interesting would it be if this “faux death experience” could be manipulated in slightly less entertaining and more educational ways to permit its use as a teaching tool for hospice workers and end of life care givers? I’m sure your imagination can run as wild with this as mine does. So of course I thought it worth sharing. These are sure interesting times when real life events can mimic imaginary ones. I wonder sometimes if it will help or hurt us in the long run.