Unreal Vacation

The idea is for a vacation that is not based in a real place or time, but in an imaginary one. Normally, a person takes a vacation to relax or gain new experience. From a simple getaway at a local pool or lake to an extraordinary journey to International Space Station orbiting Earth. Every vacation is based in real world and all actions have real consequences. But vacations do not end there. What if we want to experience something else? Something that is not possible in this reality?

In an unreal world there are no consequences, but also there is little control. Little control, and therefore controlled experiences, are desirable in this case, and are achieved through a prolonged exposure to an intense projection of another reality. Too much control could transform from vacation, i.e. absorbing the experience, into work. World of Warcraft is one of such examples, where a user/vacationer has so much control, that s/he transcends all of the life experiences into the game – for example style and type of interaction with others, actions, and so on. Control breeds feelings of being dependent upon, and morally pressures us to act like ourselves. The ideal experience therefore must offer very little control, just enough to allow acceptable sleeping and eating cycles, and be most immersible. Suck the participant in, and not let go until the story is over.

So what is one of the difference between a movie and a book? Now, i don’t want to argue with “book is better” naysayers, describing imagination participation and so on (especially as I described earlier – control is not desirable and imagination definitely is a form of control). What I want to talk about is length of experience. What could be read in weeks or days in a book is shown in hours in a movie. Visual storytelling is more sensorial, but it is also short and in the end makes the story less memorable. We don’t spend enough time with a story during standard movie length to create a bond. That is also one of the reasons we likes books so much. Books allow us to feel related to the stories much more, if only because we spend a lot of time reading them. From memory point of view, a lot more neuron connections are established in the brain, and that prevents the brain from prunning them all to erase experience, making the experience not only longer lasting, but much more profound. It becomes part of our identity.

Ideal experience at this time would be continuous cinematographic experience with consistent, evolving storyline and character development. These experiences are possible and some of them have already been tested. It could be any surreal many-part movies or TV series. Anyone emerging from such marathon will surely feel like coming back into reality from completely different dimension.

General Requirements

  • 1 Person as a participant*
  • At least 12 hours a day watching on continuous schedule (e.g. do not develop sleep debt or deprivation)
  • THX equipped private room or cinema with 110″+ screen. Sound must be resonating at strength required for immersion. Thinking about what neighbors think is forbidden.
  • Near or absolute darkness. Curtains are not enough, as sun distracts consciousness by continuously reminding about time of the day.
  • Communications cut off. Visits, phone, or internet, none are not allowed during the experience.
  • All of the content prepared and tested ahead. Scratched BDs, missing subtitles, et al. are not allowed

Content Requirements**

  • Continuous progressing story
  • Continuous character development
  • Rule of thumb: The farther from this world the better
  • Lasting at least 12 hours but no more than 180 hours
  • Acceptable completion of the story in the end

Content Examples

  • Star Gate seasons 1 through 8 (circa 11 days)
  • Firefly series + Serenity movie (1 day)
  • Star Wars 1,2,3,4,5,6 (1 day)
  • Harry Potter movies (1 day)

*Group experience is not recommended at this time. The goal is complete immersion in another reality. Experience with friends is a constant link to reality which, although more entertaining, is not desirable in this case.
**While many realistic productions could well meet all of the requirements, the goal is to leave this reality and experience another. E.g. series like Friends are not recommended.

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