The next big thing among hip youngsters (late 20’s early 30’s) in Shanghai is Mr X, which is an alternative to karaoke for small groups to spend the night together, having fun.
The concept is simple. Teams are locked in rooms and have 1 hour to find a way to get out using available clues. No smartphones, no cameras allowed. I am told it’s very hard to make it. Clues can come in any form and really anywhere; it takes a lot of wisdom and teamwork.
The location I went to in Huangpu district has a themed café on the ground floor where teams can have a bite/drink while waiting for their room to be ready. They can choose from 5 chambers, which have pretty cool themes e.g. “The Final Judgment” or “Mysterious Night”.
For more pictures and a great review, you may read this article from Smartshanghai.
Now why do I find this new concept interesting? Maybe for what the young woman who introduced it to me had to say: she liked it because she couldn’t use her smartphone and she felt she was reconnecting with her friends. She added that nowadays even at karaoke everyone is on their smartphones.
So it’s nice to see some young people going back to simple fun – remember the good old board games – with real social interaction. Is it a sign for Chinese social networks? I wish. I am so tired of the tyranny of weibo, wechat, etc. It’s all I hear from marketing people talking about China. Well, guess what? Chinese youth is educated and smart and they want to have fun, real fun, with their friends, real friends! I can only hope our industry understands that and is willing to help be the catalyst for change…