It used to be that getting locked up was a bad thing. Now it is one of the hottest trends in entertainment as so called Escape Rooms pop up all over the country. These rooms entail a group of people being locked in a room and given a time limit, typically 60 minutes, to decipher codes, puzzles, and clues to find the keys to the room and "escape".
In the 90's several very popular video games were based on this same theme of having to figure out a way to escape from a room. Based on the popularity of these games, the real life escape room is a natural progression. These rooms, which typically have a theme such as a nuclear waste leak, or a zombie will be set loose or there are only 60 minutes of air, have now become very popular with young people for a variety of reasons:
- Social Opportunity - While there are still plenty of movies, plays, concerts, and other live events for people to enjoy most of these events require the participant to sit quietly and watch. Because they eliminate the opportunity to speak and interact these activities are not conducive to socializing. Room escape scenarios, on the other hand, require that members of the group interact with each other to figure out the clues, making it a very social activity.
- Intellectual Challenge - Video games remain very popular and many of them are now played in online formats which allow considerable social interaction. However, most of them require little more than repeating and improving on a number of skills with a controller. Escape rooms offer the feel of a real world video game, but require the participants to use reasoning and intelligence to win the game. While video games are great for developing manual dexterity, escape rooms do the same for the mind.
- Group Activity - Whether it is for corporate team building, a church youth group activity, a family outing or just a bunch of friends hanging out for the evening, escape rooms are a great way for a group of people to mingle and get to know each other better.
Escape rooms have become a very hot trend by providing all of these benefits because being locked in a room with a zombie or a nuclear waste leak will tend to make a person think and do everything they can to make friends who can help them out.