‘Cause it’s not over til it’s over: 4 nights of Permission to Dance On Stage in LA

I have something to confess. During the countdown I designed to help BTS’ fandom, ARMY, prepare for their long-awaited return to real life concerts, I sometimes didn’t take my own advice. Like on November 24th, three days before the start of Permission to Dance On Stage – LA, a four-show engagement at SoFi Stadium. I posted a journaling prompt encouraging ARMYs to savor their feelings of anticipation, inspired by a writing exercise that was shown to increase how much college students remembered enjoying their spring breaks (Chun, Diehl, & MacInnis, 2017). I believed—I still believe—that it’s a useful strategy to more fully enjoy something you are looking forward to.

But I never did that journaling exercise myself. I was afraid to.

How do you even begin to approach emotions that have been two years in the making?

Continue reading “‘Cause it’s not over til it’s over: 4 nights of Permission to Dance On Stage in LA”

My trip to Elsewhere

There is a way to talk about The Madcap Motel that is very meta about immersive entertainment. In one form or another, these experiences all aim to transport us Elsewhere and promise us a temporary escape from Reality.

Madcap’s particular Elsewhere is a house of curiosities. Curiosity is the basis for the main part of the experience (basically, what could be behind that door?). The people (actors) trapped in Elsewhere, too, are curious: both inquisitive and unusual. Some wore lab coats and carried clipboards, on which they enthusiastically took notes regarding not only the strange phenomena of Elsewhere but also our own behaviors as visitors. At one point, a scientist character gestured our group over to observe one of the creatures of Elsewhere: a shadow puppet of her own hand behind a large leaf. It is the essence of childlike playfulness: inexhaustible curiosity, and the willingness to take even the most ridiculous things completely seriously.

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Review of the BTS Exhibition – Map of the Soul ON:E 오,늘

About a month ago, many BTS fans and I were coming down from an exhilarating marathon weekend of virtual concerts. The Map of the Soul ON:E shows featured two nights of live performances plus two replays of those performances over two days. As the last replay came to an end, I consoled myself that the fun wasn’t really over: the corresponding virtual exhibition, for which I’d purchased a bundled ticket, would be opening soon. Thank goodness I still had something to look forward to. It would be the first online exhibition BTS had ever done, and I was intrigued (as always when it comes to their innovations in experience design) to see what such a thing would be like.

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Bang Bang Con: The Live – Experience Design Case Study of a Virtual Concert

Last weekend at around 4:30 AM, I rolled over to turn off my alarm, already wide awake from excitement for a virtual concert by BTS called Bang Bang Con: The Live. I had slept in my “concert outfit” (merch t-shirt) and my ARMY Bomb lightstick was on my bedside table ready to go. Waking up at crazy hours for BTS is sort of a no-brainer for me at this point; in fact it all feels like part of the experience for ARMYs who live outside of Asia and Oceania. I tweeted to assure my ARMY friends I was awake.

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