Emerging Trends: Houdini

in Strategy & Trends | by David Capece

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Get me the hell outta here

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

Definition
In a world where we feel bound by a straight jacket, we need to find a way out. Just like the Great Houdini, illusions are a much needed escape from everyday life. Whether you’re an avatar living our your virtual fantasy, or dining in a four-star restaurant in Paris, we need to find that escape—to unwind and rejuvenate. To forget about life for a while, to perhaps even turn the Blackberry off if even just for a few moments, helps us stay focused and maintain balance so we can do it again tomorrow.

Spin
Disconnect—More often than not, we’re plugged in. Cell phones, computers, meetings etc, dominate our lives. That’s why once in a while we need to unplug ourselves from the technology and office… to just take a break. Nothing says unplugged like leaving the cell phone and computer at home and exploring another country.
Virtual Vacation—A more immediate, get-me-outta-here escape is a vacation into the virtual world. After a stressful day at work, why not plug-in to a world where you are in control; where you can connect with friends that have your back, even when there’s a 2,000-pound monster ready to eat you.

Examples
Cultural Perspective—College is a time to expand your intellectual horizons. However, expanding horizons doesn’t just happen reading Faulkner or hunched over an exam. It can mean quite the contrary. Dropping the books and pencils to venture a new land is an alternative to thick textbooks and hours of studying. Understanding cultural diversity is an important element that’s on the rise. Because college study abroad programs tend to be much less expensive than a vacation, more college students are going to take that semester or two off to learn about Italian architecture, not from a book, but standing inside the Vatican.
WOW, Second Life—World Of Warcraft is an example of our need to leave this world and live vicariously in another. It is a form of self-expression that puts the user in the drivers seat. Whether that expression is embodied in death or creation is completely up to the individual. There are the Second Lifers who value growth, connection and innovation, whilst the Grand Theft Autos vent frustration with the pursuit of chaos. WOW is somewhere in between. There will be growth in the avatar world, as consumers spend more time inside and value the time vs money spent ratio.

Key Words
Escape, Vacation, Reality, Disconnect, Surreal, Virtual

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