My love for escape rooms began when my friend, Michelle, told me about the concept of an escape room in high school. I had never heard about it and was fascinated with the idea. I quickly organized a group of my friends to try out a room at Escape Experts. We made it out with 1 minute to spare and I fell in love. I loved the panic I felt at the ticking timer, the sense of wonderment while solving puzzles, and the excitement and energy when we escaped. I have now done over 30 escape rooms – even a few in Japan – and while it’s hard to impress me with an amazing room now, I have a huge appreciation for all escape rooms and the value that they bring.
This passion I have is not new. Even before I played my first escape room in high school, I always enjoyed activities with concepts of curiosity and wonder. Six years ago, I watched “Now You See Me,” a movie about magic and heists. As a kid, I liked all movies equally – they were all great to me and none really stood out – until I watched “Now You See Me.” Looking back, I realize how similar this movie is to the concept of an escape room. Four magicians rob a bank with the power of illusion and wit. The movie puts it nicely: “The closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see.” A pair of chopsticks could used as an eating utensil, or they could be used as a fishing rod.
In high school, I took part in an activity called Phoenix Simulation, where “gifted and talented” students work together to create a themed room that is meant to teach the participants a lesson or idea. For example, you could walk into a mental hospital room and have to interact with the patients to receive important information despite them acting crazy. This room could teach the participants about the stigmas behind mental health. I loved Phoenix Simulation as well because of the way that an hour session could teach you something valuable about life. Similarly, escape rooms are a type of simulation and you feel enveloped in the scene or situation you are in. If I’m wearing a ski mask and am in a bank, I’m going to play the role of the robber.
Maybe the reason I’m obsessed with escape rooms is the puzzles and way of thinking outside the box, or maybe I love the brief escape of reality. It’s hard to explain in words, but I love that feeling that there’s always something more, and you can never be completely sure of anything.
Life is an escape room.