Terror Park: A future theme park in 2100

Wright, Daniel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9976-5799 (2017) Terror Park: A future theme park in 2100. Futures . ISSN 0016-3287

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2017.11.002


In the future, tourism and entertainment could be displayed as spectacles of horror, where consumers are offered and opportunity to revisit the tragedies of the past. Current displays of death where the past is exhibited and consumed as fun, scary and as entertainment productions are widespread. The movie industry provides horror to all ages, children can be exposed to the goulash past in various forms, such as the popular book series ‘Horrible Histories’. Theme parks, rides and roller-coaster often take a dark and scary approach to enticing consumers. Another popular and well established product (especially in western societies) are ‘fun factories’ (Stone, 2008), such as the dungeon attractions owned by the Merlin Entertainment Group. The market for death and horror based attractions and entertainment is growing. Since the dawn of time death has been a guarantee that awaits us all. Society is well connected to death, however and significantly, the consumption of death and its social transformation historically to present, both in practice and meaning have changed, evolved and continue to do so. The meaning, practice and consumption of death and its evolution into the future will be a significant representation of future societies. This paper, considers how society is moving into a new period, the ‘spectacle of death’. By researching and understanding past and present social realities, it is possible to generate knowledge, ideas and predictions of the future, in this study, the future role of death as tourism entertainment. This paper presents original and challenging potential future scenarios in which tourists engage with death as a form of entertainment, around the year 2100. Uniquely, the paper considers the use of horrific and tragic events that have overwhelmed the world in the early 21st Century (including the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York). Accordingly, presenting innovative narratives exposing how these will become spectacles of death in a ‘terror park’; a lighter form of dark entertainment in the future.

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