Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Smashing Time: Rage Room Visitors Let Loose as Emotions and Glass Fly

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Smashing Time: Rage Room Visitors Let Loose as Emotions and Glass Fly

Article excerpt

Visitors enjoy 'smashing' time in Rage Room

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TORONTO - With a swift swing, the wine glass instantly shattered -- and Jason Lepine was just getting started.

Wielding bats, a golf club and a crowbar, he delivered pounding blows to a stack of plates, an owl figurine, a wooden chair and a VCR, crushing them into piles of debris.

"The first glass I thought right away about my mother. I just thought: 'This feels so wrong. I can't be smashing vases and glasses,'" said Lepine, 29. "It probably goes back to being a child that you're not supposed to do that.

"Once you break through that, it's like: 'Oh, I'm allowed.' And you start to let yourself go."

Housed within Battle Sports, a recreational entertainment facility in Toronto, the Rage Room has welcomed a steady stream of customers seeking to release pent-up emotions by smashing objects.

Battle Sports co-founder Tim Cheung recalled hearing about two teens in Serbia who opened up a similar room in 2013. In a "high-stress city" like Toronto, he thought residents would embrace the concept.

"From a very young age, we're taught to protect things and keep things whole rather than to break things. So, there's a certain element of taboo," said Cheung.

"I think that's what gets people's attention is because they can go against that instinct."

Visitors don white coveralls, protective gloves and a face mask and select a "weapon" of choice, which also includes a hockey stick and rackets.

For $20, the half-hour session includes a stack of five plates for customers to crush. They can add on options from an eclectic a la carte menu, including vases and garden gnomes.

Cheung said printers are especially popular, given the "innate hatred" for the equipment, pointing to a famed scene in the '90s cult classic "Office Space," in which workers destroy a malfunctioning device.

Unleashing frustrations while decimating old technology is also a prime focus of the Luddite Screen Smash in Toronto.

"I don't know a single person who hasn't wanted to smash a computer at some point," said workshop leader and organizer Rob Corbett, who will host his next event on Sept. …

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