Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Singaporeans get ‘rage room’

AFP, SINGAPORE

Fragment Room employees smash bottles during a “rage room” demonstration in Singapore on Oct. 19.

Photo: AFP

Bad day at the office? In high-pressured Singapore there is a solution — a “rage room” that lets stressed-out people take a baseball bat to items ranging from glass bottles to televisions.

The “Fragment Room” consists of a bare, cell-like space with concrete walls, where customers pay to indulge in an unusual form of destructive stress relief.

After being given overalls, helmets, gloves and shoes, people proceed to smash up items ranging from plates to printers.

The set-up opened six months ago and residents have shown they have an appetite for destruction. Anxious office workers have given it a go, as well as students and retirees in their 60s.

While Singapore is ultra-modern and affluent, it is also notorious for the high levels of stress experienced by its citizens, from school children to adults, who are placed under huge pressure to do well from an early age.

“Everyone in Singapore — no matter where you come from, what your background is, whatever you do, whatever age you are — everyone is stressed out,” Fragment Room founder Royce Tan said. “Be it school, be it work, be it like your own personal relations, everything is stressful.”

The set-up, one of several such “rage rooms” in cities around the world, has two main offerings: half-hour slots with a limited amount of items to smash for S$38 (US$27.92), or the S$350 “annihilation pack” that lets customers smash as much as they can in half an hour.

Most items are provided by the Fragment Room, located in a disused noodle factory in central Singapore, but customers can also bring their own.

The most popular item to smash? Printers.

One afternoon at the shop, four students, aged 18 and 19, who had just finished their exams were enjoying a session, and the thud of bat on printer was just audible through the concrete walls.

Law student Kylie Low, drenched in sweat and with her shoes covered in printer ink, said it was a “cathartic experience.”

“When we’re in school we’re always printing things for class — so to be able to smash up a printer, it feels amazing,” Low said.

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