The Self Design Academy (EN)

Escape Here Now (2020)

Emma Verhoeven

virtual bathroom - still from online game

The Game

When life is good and basic needs are fulfilled, what do I do? Simple, work up to the top of Maslow’s pyramid and self-actualise! Trying to figure out what to do with my self, I surf the web for tips & tricks, hints and clues: find your purpose, find your passion, make your passion your profession. Be happy, be healthy, be good, be better. Be strong, be productive, work hard, set goals, aim higher. Let go, enjoy, be calm, be here, now. Be yourself, be your best self, your true self, inner self, optimal self, ideal self. Be all those things: click here, now!

Now I made a habit of watching videos on how to change my habits. I’m procrastinating with how-to-stop-procrastinating-articles. I feel all this pressure to feel less pressure. How do I exit this prison of self-help? I just want to have fun and play a stupid videogame.

Play your way to self-actualisation in this escape-the-room inspired adventure game! Follow the clues and escape on a journey towards a better you.

The Room

If you’ve ever experienced an escape room, you will know the thrill of looking around for clues, finding patterns in everything, and feeling like the hero in a real adventure story. For under €30 you can have a fun hour trying to crack codes and find the key to your fake escape.

But escape rooms are just superficial entertaining experiences you can buy, and I want to spend my time productively and meaningfully. I want to play the lead role in my own adventure. I want real experiences! 

I want to travel the world to discover myself, go on a retreat to find myself. Lift up my soul on the yoga mat, but also keep both feet on the ground; need to stay down to earth. Straightforward. Got to move forward. Set goals, reach my full potential. Push myself, be more productive. Dream big, trust the universe. Let go of fears and stress. Do what I want! Enjoy life, live it to the fullest. Have fun, be free, escape! 

This escape room will make you more productive, centered, grounded, motivated, charismatic, kind, beautiful, creative, healthy, ambitious, fit, profitable, driven, relaxed, calm, happy, passionate, reflective, aware, brave, humble, confident, intelligent, skilled, accepting, balanced… play a thrilling game of self-discovery and escape from the maze of self-improvement!

Photo by Boudewijn Bollmann

About Emma Verhoeven

Emma Verhoeven is a designer and media artist based in Rotterdam. She makes playful installations, videos and digital illustrations, which often pose questions about consumerism, individualism and technologies. She is interested in the fluid definition of ‘authenticity’ and its role in the modern media landscape. In her practice, she combines visual research, critical theory and digital tools to translate intuitions and questions about complex societal issues into fun and engaging audiovisual works. Using found footage and familiar visual languages, she creates explorable little worlds. 

Emma holds a BA from Design Academy Eindhoven and recently graduated from the master Non Linear Narrative at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.