Today I address a very important question before this train really gets rollin': what is an escape room?
If you're in the dark about this, don't worry. Escape rooms are a fairly new phenomenon, especially in the US. So here's a brief explanation and history of one of the (if not the) fastest growing segments of the entertainment industry...
Escape games are like a scavenger hunt, a haunted house, and interactive theater all rolled into one. They are not always scary, no, but when done right they are absolutely thrilling. And you don't have to be an actor to participate, but everyone always plays a role. Usually referred to as an "escape room," Wikipedia sums it up best: "...a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot [...] hidden within the rooms. [...] Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons, and space stations, and usually the various puzzles and riddles themselves follow the theme of the room."
Unlike most games these days, the concept of an escape room first manifested as single player digital games (visit your favorite app store and you'll find many examples). Then, someone brilliant asked the question: "Why not make an escape game in the physical world?" And BOOM - a new industry was created. Gaining popularity in Japan, Russia, and Europe before making its way to the US, the escape room industry in America is still in its infancy. We are excited to dive headfirst into this business and help push the industry forward... the potential is vast and we are confident we will always be able to keep things fresh and interesting as time rolls on.
For those of you who have already experienced an escape room, you know how much fun it can be! Elizabeth and I have converted a few people ourselves. Here is usually how the conversation goes (I'm summarizing, of course):
Liz: "Hey, You, wanna do an escape room with us?"
Unsuspecting friend: "Like a panic room?"
Liz: "No! An escape room!"
Unsuspecting friend: "What's that?"
Liz: "An escape room is... [see definition above].
Unsuspecting friend: "Oh, huh. Sounds weird. And slightly claustrophobic. I'm not really sure..."
Liz: "Oh, c'mon.... you're gonna love it!" [as she drags said friend by the arm]
One hour later.....
Unsuspecting friend: "What the BLEEEEEEP! That was the most fun I've had in a long time! I can't wait to check out another escape room."
This was similar to my conversation with Elizabeth when she dragged me to my first escape room... a conversation I've now had myself many times.
The bottom line is that you simply have to try an escape room to experience what the hype is about. Personally, I love escape rooms because they facilitate human-to-human interaction - ya know, old fashioned socializing and teamwork. An escape room is like being in a video game or movie for an hour. It is an incredibly effective way to unwind or lift your mood... to socialize while participating in an activity outside the norm... to use your brain in a completely different way... to break away from the digital world and do something entertaining that doesn't involve a screen. If you are an experienced escapee.... please leave a comment telling me about your favorite escape room experience or why you love escape rooms.
As for Elizabeth and myself, one of our favorite experiences so far (okay, definitely our absolute favorite) is located right here in the Rogue Valley: The "Ramblin' Rogue" escape room in Ashland. So, if you're now itchin' to try an escape room before we launch our Zombie Outbreak mobile escape game, pay a visit to Escape Ashland and see what it's all about! We sure loved it. The photo to the left is our group after not only beating, but also setting a record time for the Ramblin' Rogue escape room.
Our next post will focus on all of the work we have done so far to bring Stumpt! to fruition, as well as initial details about "Zombie Outbreak" - our very first Stumpt! escape room experience.
Until then.... Have a lovely weekend and hasta la pasta!