Six men will be locked away in a room for 250 days. They are doing it in the name of NASA, to prep for a mission to Mars. That's how long it will take to fly to Mars, land for a month, and then fly home. The shrinks want to make sure they can handle the mental strain of the journey. I don't blame the doctors for conducting the study. 250 days? That's a long time.
I'd be fine with a few things, like: no TV, no internet, no annoying traffic, but I'd miss a lot of things too. Mainly my family. I foresee these six dudes going through quite a few physiological and mental stages, few of them good. The beginning will be dandy, like the first day of school.
By day 60, they will be sick of going to sleep to "Reggie's farts" and waking up to "Jeff's stank breath."
By day 120, a few will be thoroughly depressed.
By day 190, there will be fistfights.
By day 220, three men will have taken on new identities out of boredom, the other three will have taken on those three men's identities. Does that make sense?
By day 249, there will be widespread belief they are really going to Mars.
On day 250, the "hatch" will open and five men will grossly embarrass themselves when they find out they're still on Earth. Three will puke, two will faint, one will think he really is on Mars.
These guys are nuts. But the experiment reminds me of being locked in a story with characters you create. You're there, with them. And on a really good day it's like they're talking to you, on their own, doing their own things, making their own choices. By the end of the story you're sick of them. You want them out of your life. You want their destinies decided and the door slammed shut on their world.
But if you create something special, none of that happens. You never want the experiment to end. You want these people you've created to keep breathing. You want it to last forever.