Entertainment is defined as any kind of activity that captures the long-term interest or attention of some person or audience. People look to participate in entertainment as a way to gain pleasure and to escape the harsh realities of daily life. Since people’s interests vary, there are an infinite number of activities that can be considered entertaining. Before technology, those looking for a sedentary activity listened to stories, read a book or played board games. Television became a major event for the stay-at-home crowd while those looking for a night out turned to concerts, the theater and dancing. More recently, video games have taken over as the preferred means of amusement.
Those seeking active forms of recreation and a way to pass the time have always played games. The earliest games involved weapons or tools or some type of ball or projectile. Later there were boards and dice, and today there is technology. No matter the equipment, games provide an opportunity to compete and even socialize. Online gaming, which is one of the most popular forms of entertainment today, has evolved from a solitary, sedentary experience to tournament settings and online competitions among groups. These online and video games give the user more control and provide a more intensive experience.
Many gamers looking to make their experiences even more social and physical have popularized a new activity called the “escape room”. These game rooms began in Europe and Asia and US companies like Lockdown Rooms for example opened their doors in 2015. Today, there are over 2000 escape room companies in the United States. All of these sites offer live adventures in which people find clues to solve puzzles and riddles in order to find their way out of the locked room. These on-site games are actually inspired by the puzzle room video games. By manipulating the setting and the story, the physical escape rooms provide the player with a unique real life experience each time they participate.
If you think the escape room concept sounds interesting, you can probably find a location close to you. You can participate simply for recreation or rent space for a specific purpose. Escape room experiences can be designed for team building, as a way for a class of students to learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills, or as a unique event at a special occasion party. You can further customize the activity by requesting a particular theme for your room and by giving prizes to the winners.
The Bottom Line
Escape rooms can be a great way to spend a few hours with family, friends and co-workers but be sure to do your research in advance so you know exactly what to expect. Ask questions about the size and themes of the rooms, and the ways to get help if the group gets stuck. Though you want an exciting adventure, you should probably avoid rooms like the one portrayed in the soon-to-be-released Escape Room movie where failure to solve the room’s puzzle leads to dire consequences.