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Trapped in a Cage

In an undisclosed location in Europe, we had the pleasure of beta-testing a new escape room. Beta-testing means that the room was not yet open to the general public as they were testing out the different puzzles and tech in the room, in particular seeing how it translates for the English speaking escapees. In this room, like in several others we’ve done, the players are split up at the beginning, with one of us locked in a cage. In the past, when one player is locked up, we make it our number one goal on working to free the participant, attempting to ignore any puzzles that don’t appear to progress towards that goal.

The participant initially locked in the cage (names will not be shared to protect the guilty) did a quick scan of the area within the enclosure to see if there was anything that could help towards gaining their freedom. Not finding anything, they then focused their attention outside of the cell, helping the other participant to uncover clues to open the cage. The attempt to open the cage went on for over five minutes until a technical issue led to the game master resetting the game. During the reset, participants switched places so that the initially caged escapee could do a “better job” of searching. In less than a minute, the newly trapped participant found a map in the cell that helped quickly gain their freedom.

The main lesson learned in this experience, especially for the initially caged escapelete, is to look within first for the answers. We are so quick to look externally to ourselves to solve problems (or to blame others for our problems not getting solved), that we forget to look at ourselves first.

Let’s turn this into a call to action: look at where you feel “trapped” in life and examine what role you play in that feeling.

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