The concept for Life Story was born out of a New York Times article that offered 36 questions that one person should ask another to fall in love. The questions start out light and funny, before getting progressively more and more invasive and deep. By the end of the three sets of questions, the participants in the conversation have essentially bared themselves to one another and shared their life stories. As a result, we have built an immersive experience around these questions called LIFE STORY.
LIFE STORY works by bringing together two individuals (strangers, friends, significant others, spouses) and giving them the shared experience of unraveling one another’s story. During the LIFE STORY experience, the individuals are cut off from contact with the outside world and become immersed in the other person. By the end of the 36 questions and the activities in between, participants will have become closer to one another and gained insight into their self and had the opportunity to reflect on their own individual experiences.
LIFE STORY starts out with the two people participating entering the “box” through separate doors, and being brought together to go through the first set of questions over drinks. There is a juxtaposition of a normal scenario (chatting over drinks) with the removal of a sense. The participants are blind folded at this point, so they are forced to focus closely on the answers to the questions being asked.
Stage 2 of LIFE STORY is a cooking activity where the participants must create a dish without speaking. They have just began the experience and are now asked to complete a task with a very large constraint.
Stage 3 of LIFE STORY is when the participants answer the second set of questions. These questions will be answered sitting back to back in chairs. Here, we hope that being physically close to someone while still not being able to see the person will add another layer of complexity to the participants’ experience as they answer the questions together.
Stage 4 of LIFE STORY entails the participants creating one shared art piece together. If neither of the participants feel they are creative, this experience will encourage them to help each other step outside of their comfort zone. If one or both of the participants feel they are creative, this activity gives them an opportunity to learn from one another, while making decisions and comprises together along the way.
In Stage 5, the participants will answer the last set of questions. These are the deepest, most invasive questions in the game. Here, they will be sitting right across from each other on the floor in a room that has no other furniture. They are forced to focus on one another in an extremely intimate and bare setting.
The last part of LIFE STORY is an act of trust in which the participants find themselves on a ledge that leads into darkness and must decide whether or not they will jump, whether alone or together, after baring themselves to one another, one would hope that they are now filled with a sense of trust for their partner. The ledge actually leads to a pit of foam, so when they take the jump, there is nothing to worry about.
Story Arc / Twist: The story arc of LIFE STORY is different each time since the stories being discovered and revealed are the stories of the participants of the experience. The stories can be shocking, awe-inspiring, sentimental, confusing, or all of the above. The twists are organic, as each individual has gone through unexpected events in life.
Dual Desires: There is a conflict in the dual desires of wanting to open up and wanting to keep one’s self tucked away. LIFE STORY gives participants the environment to completely expose themselves and open up. However, this is a difficult thing to do, so here they are faced with the struggle between being open and being closed off.
The Fourth Wall: There is no fourth wall in LIFE STORY because the participants are the actors in the game and there are no other individuals who take a part in their story.
Exclusivity/Originality/Desirability: This game is exclusive because only two people can participate at once. If one chooses to participate as an individual and be matched with a stranger, there will be a screening process that takes place to ensure that participants are well-matched. The game is desirable because this is a unique and provocative concept that has not been giving a specific setting. With LIFE STORY, participants are immersed in a setting that is conducive to them becoming closer to one another and learning more about themselves.