SEOUL, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Sometimes you just want to zone out and stay thoughtless for a while. But when some 70 people are sitting in one spot, all but spaced-out, there is something else going on. This is what happened Sunday by the Han River in Seoul.
As it turned out, they were participants in what organizers called a ‘Space-out Competition’.
From an elementary school student to an elderly gentleman, they were the final contestants who passed the qualifying rounds with odds of 31:1.
The competition was held with the intent to give busy brains a little rest. The contestant who remained in the most stable, spaced-out position without falling asleep would be declared the winner.
Contestants from diverse backgrounds all took part in this restful endeavor. As to reasons for participating in such an event, many replied, ‘to relieve stress’ and ‘just for fun’.
“I get most stressed when I’m waiting for my boss’s approval or listening to his never-ending lectures,” said a businesswoman who asked for anonymity. “I’ll get in trouble if I’m spaced out like this at work, but here, apparently, I’ll get a prize,” she laughed.
Another contestant, who is a graduate student researcher in cardiology, said, “I’ve been dealing with so many research experiments and have been looking for a chance to repose. As soon as I found out about the event I thought ‘this is it!’”
“I have too much to study even after school,” said a much younger contestant, Kim Ji-hae, a second-grader. “But it’s nice because I can empty my head. It will be fun”
The players competed for 90 minutes. The rules were rather strict. They were not allowed to look at their cell phones, doze off or fall asleep. It was also prohibited for them to sing, laugh, or speak, any of which would lead to disqualification. The contestants’ heartbeats were checked every 15 minutes to see how comfortable they remained in their spaced-out positions.
The grand prize went to an R&B singer, Crush, who managed to keep his heartbeat the most stable.
“I had no idea that I would win. I was literally zoned-out for the entire competition,” said Crush. “But it was a good time to give some rest to my body and mind”
Ms. Oops, an independent artist, organized the competition.
“Modern day people who use smartphones 24/7 are overworking their brains,” said Ms. Oops. “I wanted this competition to be a public performance that shows resting our brains or being spaced-out is not just a waste of time but can also result in something more productive.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)