If you’re anything like me, you wear a million different hats during the day, you have to schedule time to sit down and binge watch “Game of Thrones” because you didn’t have time to watch it when the episodes first came out and you basically work, have meetings or do homework until it’s time to go to bed. That doesn’t leave a lot, if any, time for relaxation.
And let me just clarify: staring at a screen does not constitute relaxing. So, I’m always looking for ways to chill out, and one of my favorite ways to unplug and relax is doing an escape room.
An escape room is just exactly what it sounds like: you’re “locked” in a room with a group of people, and you have one hour to escape. You’re not technically locked in (fire codes prevent that), but a little pretend never hurt anybody.
Most escape rooms have a theme or story, such as murder
mystery, escaping an insane asylum, figuring out the cause of a blackout, etc. But the premise is the same—solve the clues and escape.
According to exitstrategygames.com, there are five types of escape rooms. However, these five types all center around three basic types. Those three basic types are: linear rooms, where one clue leads to another; non-linear rooms, where there are several puzzles that are all independent of each other; and mixed rooms, which have both linear and non-linear puzzles.
There’s actually some psychology behind escape rooms. According to an article by Kemal Atlay on junkee.com, psychatrist Ali Cheetham believes that escape rooms have become so popular because “people are increasingly becoming attracted to activities that allows us to momentarily disconnect from the technology that has come to dominate our lives.”
However, some think that there’s less psychology and more entrepreneurship involved in escape rooms. According to an article from Pacific Standard magazine, “These escape rooms could allow you to escape your life, man. Or, maybe, these are just the next step in the never-ending evolution of entertainment.”
So which is it? Is there some psychology to escape rooms, or are they just quirky fun ways to expand on entertainment for people? Personally, I don’t think it matters. Escape rooms, regardless of no peer reviewed psychology articles about their psychological benefits, are great ways to escape from outside pressures and live in the moment. And that’s something that everyone needs more of.
Regardless of outside sources, escape rooms often promote themselves as good team building exercises. These rooms are an excellent way to figure out people’s strengths and weakness, and to learn how cooperative people are. Think about it: you’re locked in a room with people and are forced to cooperate in order to win. And everybody wants to win. You’ll learn quickly who’s better at solving puzzles, and that can be really good information depending on the group you’re with.
I won’t say that escape rooms are exactly relaxing. I’m too competitive to relax while trying to escape within the hour. But, escape rooms are a great way to stop playing on my phone, get away from work and outsides pressures and to live in the moment and hang out with my friends.
There are escape rooms in Russellville. I’ve done them all and am anxiously awaiting a new room. Check the current rooms out at hgescape.com, and enjoy the unplugged, in the moment escape—even if it’s only for an hour.