The Daily Gamecock

SC Riot Room provides stress relief through demolition

When it comes to stress-inducing activities, college is certainly on the list. One West Columbia business might just have a way to blow off some steam.

The SC Riot Room, which opened a little over a year ago, has become a place where guests can do the seemingly undoable: break things. 

Nodis Kijula, manager and co-owner of the SC Riot Room, said riot rooms are "essentially" a form of stress relief.

“Your whole life, you're told not to break things; if you do break things, you get punished for it,” Kijula said. “We offer a place where you can do that and not get in trouble.”

A riot room is where people go to break things. They can choose one of three different “Riots,” which include different types of smashable objects. Everything is fair game, from a glass plate to a flat screen TV. Or, if guests are feeling a certain animosity towards specific items (i.e. something their ex gave them), guests can B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Box).

But they cannot begin smashing immediately. They must first garb themselves in protective equipment, including a Full Riot helmet, gloves and vest. Although smashing items can be a blast, the SC Riot Room takes safety seriously.

Guests can take out all of their pent-up anger on the items in the room — as long as they do not swing at anyone else in the room. Shattered porcelain and crushed electronics litter the floor at the conclusion of each riot.

Meredith Acevedo and her husband decided to give the SC Riot Room a try after hearing about it from a group of moms on Facebook. She said they thought the concept sounded interesting and different, so they decided to make a date night out of it.

It was “[e]xciting and therapeutic,” Acevedo said in an email interview.

“The room was great to get any frustrations out one might have. The assortment of household items proved entertaining to smash, especially the computers because everyone gets frustrated with technology sometimes,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo is not alone. Other guests have felt the same sort of adrenaline rush from their riots.

Jesse Cody already knew about the concept of a rage room, so when she found the SC Riot Room on Facebook, she said she knew she had to give it a try.

“It might seem an exaggeration, but I would describe my first visit to the SC Riot Room as euphoric," Cody said. "I walked into a room full of objects whose only purpose was to be destroyed accompanied by a smorgasbord of weapons at my disposal.”

As an added bonus, guests can choose the music they want to hear during the riot. And, although they can request specific songs and artists, Kijula said that a lot of times, people will just ask for "angry music."

So, when life gets stressful, the SC Riot Room can be a good outlet to be angry in a safe way. No cleanup necessary.