Guide Down the Rabbit Hole

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Why now? Dave Neale, of the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning, points to cultural change: our adult lives, he says, have become far more fluid and open to new thinking. Our relationships change more quickly, we move locations frequently. In the workplace, new skills are valued — the iteration and invention that flourished when we played as children.

There is, he says, a reason why Google has a Lego play area in its office. But now, we are starting to value the type of thinking that play involves. It keeps the creative brain engaged in developing and coming up with new ideas. So it makes perfect sense that how we know who we are now involves these specially made moments, these opportunities, these repeating spaces that create an opportunity for acting together — often around something already familiar in popular culture.

Dungeons and Dragons is a perfect example of those moments. At its simplest, it is a paper-based role-playing game: players create characters using dice rolls to determine characteristics according to a pre-created table. Those characters are then led through a scenario by the dungeon master DM or referee. On paper, it sounds dry. Indeed, Philbey says he has been DMing a game for his two younger siblings for 10 years, in an adventure that follows the activities of crafty thief Laura Morel his sister and an elven warrior called Xanven his brother.

Meanwhile, he is currently playing a drunken sailor called Fedrick sic who takes up with a band of magic-users, and is DMing a third game in which a band of miscreants is trying to save the world from evil darkspawn, while dealing with people who are almost as bad as the evil demons themselves.

Parallels with contemporary politics are, he stresses, unintended. Philbey sees the rise of collective, immersive play as a celebration of social connection.


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The entire game is about talking to others, about experiencing stories together. Win or lose, you are always hanging out with your friends and having fun. Some of my best game experiences come when the chips are down and we make a big gamble and lose.

The Rabbit-Hole Rabbit Hole

And someone might die. Part of the thrill of real-life gatherings is not knowing what is going to happen, says Foster. Play offers this very particular kind of participation. Matthew Dunstan also understands this urge to connect and create those moments: he has built an entire second career around it. Trainspotting : Renton climbs inside the filthiest toilet of Edinburgh and swims under water. Though this is all a drug hallucination Lampshaded in Terry Gilliam's Tideland , when Jeliza Rose literally falls down a rabbit-hole.

Nevertheless, the movie may be seen as a dark deconstruction of this plot — the fantastic world Jeliza Rose delves into is actually only the product of her own imagination, combined with the madness of the grown-ups around her. The plot framework of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away , when a young woman and a male circus performer she falls in Love at First Sight with are sucked into the Cirqish world.

Suffice to say, everything's changed forever. Eggsy: How deep does this fucking thing go?

Alice in Wonderland. Trope Namer and probably the Trope Maker. Alice goes literally Down the Rabbit Hole and finds herself stuck in odd places. Coraline crosses over through comparable tunnels. The Chronicles of Narnia has elements of this. Apt since each book has at least one girl hero.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has plenty in common with regard to Lucy, up until the other children become involved on the other side. In The Silver Chair Jill is very much afraid of crawling down the narrow corridors leading to Underworld, just like Eustace has acrophobia. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Interestingly, Oz is at least once stated to actually be in some remote region of Earth rather than Another Dimension , although this may have just been speculation on the part of the characters who wouldn't have necessarily been familiar with the concept.

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions , by Edwin Abbott Abbott, is about a two dimensional character who goes to many different dimensions. The main character is clueless, of course. Square's independently-minded granddaughter, Victoria Line. Square himself, of course, is given the first name of Albert. The Forbidden Game trilogy by L. Smith features a girl, who, with a group of friends, gets sucked into the shadow world. Features a Persephone-like love story. The protagonist learns about a magic kingdom via a real estate ad. Rather than a rabbit hole, the protagonist has to wander headlong into a train tunnel to get there.

In Neil Gaiman 's Neverwhere , the main character becomes invisible to those around him, and has to travel around in London Below to find a way home. Notable in that there seem to be many different ways to get to and from there turning a handle, climbing a bookcase, crossing a bridge , and that due to it being fairly easy as long as you know roughly what to do, problems from one world can cross to the other if the wrong people are involved. Needless to say, in the story, they are.

In Patrick Senecal's macabre retelling of Alice in Wonderland , Aliss , the subway is used to get to a parallel neighborhood called Daresbury. The subway can freely be used by anyone, not just the protagonist, to travel back and forth between Daresbury and the real world - except when the subway employees are on strike.

Includes masquerades , mirrors, and masks. Christine literally interprets her descent to the Opera's cellars as transition to a mystical underworld and describes the Phantom in terms reminiscent of The Fair Folk. In the book the Opera's cellars actually have other inhabitants almost as peculiar as the Phantom himself, almost composing a miniature world in themselves, though it's more mundane than it seems to her.

Or any other completely white wall. The book Marco's Millions plays this trope straight by having two kids discover a gate to another world in their basement. Both literally and figuratively. Be warned that within lie singularities, sacrificial swings, and cardboard boxes. The Book of Lost Things. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has five children three male, two female , most of whom with their parents in tow, undertaking a journey into The Wonderland that is the Wonka Factory, which is mostly an Elaborate Underground Base with many twisting corridors, and at least one long, dark, intimidating tunnel that they travel through by boat.

Four of the children are pampered brats who just want more than they already have, and prove themselves unfit to progress further when they disobey their guide, give into their selfish vices, and are subjected to a variety of absurd disasters — notably, Augustus Gloop is sucked into a pipe and briefly stuck in it, and Veruca Salt and her parents are tossed down a garbage chute by nut-sorting squirrels. Charlie Bucket, on the other hand, is a good, poverty-stricken child who needs a change of life — and is rewarded for his virtue by becoming the heir to the place.

In the sequel , he and Mr. Wonka effect an Orphean Rescue by travelling far beneath the Earth. Also, in the stage musical adaptation , Mike Teavee's mother Doris — a Stepford Smiler Housewife who has affected her mannerisms in a desperate attempt to cope with her Enfant Terrible son — is, for much of the tour, a frightened Only Sane Person who just wants to come out of this place in one piece, but eventually finds herself affected by the Infectious Enthusiasm of Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas and leaves the factory a much happier person than she was when she went in, thanks in part to her son getting The Neverending Story is a rare variation centered on a male protagonist or rather, two male protagonists, since the main hero takes half the book to muster enough courage to even leap down the rabbit hole —a lonely kid, who has troubles at home and at school, seeks to escape reality in fantasy, has his wish granted, and returns after having learned his lesson, stronger and better adjusted than before.

Live Action TV. In that case, it was a variation involving going into the world of Second Life. There's even a white rabbit showing up as a guide when Mac enters the game to search for the killer-slash-avatar stealer.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Fiona Apple 's song " Sleep to Dream " subverts this trope. As the wall passes over him, he blacks out, and later re-awakens in a surreal world beneath New York City. In this case, it's a subversion, as it's revealed partway through the song to be a metaphor for being manipulated into obedience by the "white rabbit".

Myths and Legends.

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Persephone's abduction myth. Tabletop Games. Heroine is a Tabletop RPG designed to facilitate this kind of storytelling. Princess: The Hopeful invokes this trope with the Girl Underground condition. Upon experiencing emotional pain a Princess may find herself trapped in a magical Dream Land until she experiences catharsis or personal growth. The Nutcracker : Clara's journey isn't scary once the Mouse King is dispatched; none of the places she goes are confined or underground and she has no tasks to complete.

In the non-traditional, Maurice Sendak -designed version from The '80s , after the gigantic Mouse King is killed Clara and her Nutcracker pass through a cave of sorts formed by his now-empty coat.

The Final Fantasy House - Down the Rabbit Hole

By the time they emerge, Clara played a preteen thus far has aged to adulthood and the Nutcracker has taken on the form of a handsome human. Cirque du Soleil 's Quidam has adolescent heroine Zoe, her parents, and two bizarre companions transported to a sometimes-melancholy Magical Land via a Nice Hat dropped off for her by the mysterious, literally faceless it has no head title character, where she learns that the loneliness and alienation she feels in the real world is in fact something everyone feels at one time or another.

Characters pop up from trap doors in the stage from time to time; Zoe herself does so as the closing scene begins.