A new attraction in China promises the experience of a lifetime (deathtime?) through simulating what it's like to snuff it and come back. The Shanghai-based simulator is in the form of a game called Xinglai. But the business, which opened yesterday, is no charades.
How does this miracle work? The players in the morbidly curious group, which can number up to 12, are given a fictional scenario. So although you can walk the cliff edge your buddies are the ones who push you over. Someone must die: either you can sacrifice yourself or recommend someone else's untimely demise. But you also have to explain your decision. That's gotta be awkward.
Members then get to play jury in a capital punishment case by voting via tablet. A video by VOA News details how Xinglai works. One possible situation tells the group they are in the US army in Afghanistan. Their undercover mission is sighted by a local herdsman. He may tell the Taliban of their position. They must decided whether or not to let him live. We can safely assume the US military's PR were not involved in Xinglai.
Players use a tablet to discuss who should be killed off, resurrected then reborn by birth through a latex womb shoot.
After the verdict the doomed can write down any last words, and keep the paper or shred it. After the decision to kill someone is made, he or she then "dies". After entering a room on their own the participant is plunged into darkness. They are then shunted into the crematorium, a fiery whirlpool that wraps sight and body in flame visuals.
The Lazarus bit, my personal favourite, comes next. After being killed and burned, the corpse must be born again to rejoin the world. But how? Chuck it in a vaginal ball pit! It has to be said the resurrection "womb chute" looks more like a snowy children's play area than a mother's postnatal body. The regained person crawls out through a virginal white late opening over some balls to emerge blinking back into the world. Ta da! The entire session lasts two hours and costs approximately $69 (¥444) per person.
The Xinglai Death Simulator Founder, Ding Rui, is trying to better prepare people for death. He said:
When we do not fully understand death saying goodbye is quite a complicated and difficult task. It covers various dimension, conflicts, and even prevents you from being able to reach a decision.
So I invented a premise on how to educate people on life so when they approach death they don't have to think about these problems constantly.
The reactions of the killed-and-resurrected were generally positive. One man called Lu Swei said:
This at least gives you a chance to calm down... and think about some of life's problems... you will experience some changes in your mentality.
Fellow death victim Ji Ruoxing said:
At the moment when everything is completely black the feeling was really realistic. I was a little scared. Then when I went inside I thought it was alright.
Xinglai is not the first to attempt to fabricate the feeling of death. There was also another death simulator in China last year, on an amusement ride called The Cremato. It mimicked the experience of being cremated through hot air and light projections. Both these experiences are really weird but probably help to give you a peep into how you feel about your life.