Escape Rooms: How They Actually Work and Brief History

How Escape Rooms Actually Work

Unlike what its name suggests, an escape room is not a room in which you hide out from natural disasters or heinous criminals. In fact, to explain what an escape room is really, it’s a game. It’s similar to mock murder mysteries and scavenger hunts. Players have to find clues and solve puzzles before they can get out of the room. It is a very popular game worldwide these days.

It’s more difficult than you might think to explain what an escape room is to people who’ve never played it before. When you do, people often question about paying to be locked into a room. That’s why escape rooms are much more fun when they’re actually experienced.

One way to try to explain it is that the person and their team get to select a challenge and then they have one hour to complete it and “escape” the room. It could be something like stealing back a piece of art, a prison escape, or trying to repair a spaceship on another planet.

 If s/he still doesn’t get it, try bringing up the Indiana Jones or James Bond movies. If s/he has never seen or heard of either, try sending them a video of one. Though we would recommend the last anyway because then they get to see one for themselves.

An escape room is not an individual game. It requires teamwork and lots of it. There is never any telling just where a significant clue or a much needed piece, such as a much-needed combination, may be found. There is never any fooling around in an escape room as the clock starts ticking the second the person walks into the room.

Escape rooms are basically about experiencing a fictional story three-dimensionally. It is like walking into a movie and being able to control it for oneself.

Again, every escape room has challenge options. The teams are never alone as there is a game guide who’s there to answer any questions that anyone may have about escape rooms in general. Then there’s a video presentation about the mission and the 60 seconds officially starts once the game does. 

People are never left completely alone in an escape room as they are monitored by cameras and microphones. If anyone needs a bathroom break or something, the guide will make sure that they can step out of the room or something. Otherwise, the guide opens the door at the end of the game regardless of the outcome.

Escape rooms are perfect for everything from family vacations to simple group outings. The real point of an escape room is not to learn how to escape-though that could probably happen in the process!-but to create fond memories with family and friends. Even if the team doesn’t make the escape, the memories are still funny and valuable.

Yes, Escape Rooms Have a History

The first modern escape room on the record was a Japan’s SCRAP in 2007. Like the rooms of today, players were escorted into a room in which they had to solve the problem and escape by figuring out clues and puzzles. Before that, games like Crimson and Myst were very popular. However, the difference was that they were old-fashioned games played in one-person with a bunch of mouse clicks.

Modern escape rooms were not introduced in the U.S. until 2012. Until that point, they had been 20th century-like with furniture, boxes and puzzles. As a result, the Escape Game founders sought to imitate Japan’s SCRAP and they’ve been enormously popular ever since.


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