25th October 2017
Escape room fans are calling the shots. Their continued drive to play and share their experiences on social is shifting escape rooms from the alternative hidden realm of Dungeons & Dragons or Larping and into the mainstream. Just like the unexpected rising popularity of geek chic, escape rooms may have once only existed in the shadows, but not anymore.
Escape room fans are all getting in on the action including celebrity’s Joey Essex, Barack Obama, Jasmine Burke, Andi Dorfman (Bachelorette) and Chris Evans to name a few. We also had the pleasure of a surprise visit from Jonathan Ross and family recently, who apparently take their escape rooms very seriously.
We explore the rising popularity of escape rooms and what it is about them that gets fans and celebrities alike buzzing for more.
The television revival of The Crystal Maze definitely had something to do with it. While anyone who watched it in the 90’s is already brought in to the concept of an escape room, two new generations were exposed to the brilliance of The Crystal Maze with over 2 million tuning in for its return. There’s no doubt the 90’s revival put puzzle rooms back in the limelight. Escape rooms are now a cool thing to do or should we say ‘sick’ thing to do? A poor attempt to be ‘down with the kids’ but you get our drift. The first few episodes featured some celebrity escape room fans and as the series continued it was easy to see the wider spread mania with younger generations getting involved and becoming escape room fans.
The number of permanent rooms worldwide has gone from zero at the outset of 2010 to almost 10,000 according to gathered statistics from exitgames.co.uk, almost 900 of which are in the UK. That rapid growth has helped to boost awareness of puzzle rooms and increased the number of escape room fans across the globe. There was a time when we needed to continually explain what an escape room was, these days? Not so much. There has been a significant shift in the last year with more and more people familiar with the concept.
Due to the often hidden locations of escape rooms, many celebrities also take advantage of this opportunity to experience something with friends or family in a private space. This is also why there isn’t much evidence of celebrities out there on the escape room train, but trust us we have seen a few and if the uptake for the celebrity episodes of The Crystal Maze are anything to go by, there are plenty more celeb escape room fans making their way around the circuit.
No matter the generational label we are all overwhelmed by the digital noise and surrounding clutter in our lives, looking for ways to escape and experience new things. Basically, we all want to feel something other than worry and the pressure to be our best. It’s a feeling that futurist author James Wallaman describes as ‘stuffocation’ in his book: Stuffocation: Living More with Less. He explains:
“Experiences are more likely to make us happy because we are less likely to get bored of them, more likely to see them with rose-tinted glasses, more likely to think of them as part of who we are, and because they are more likely to bring us closer to other people and are harder to compare.”
The general gist is that escape room fans are more interested in experience over stuff. Playing an escape room is not only a distraction from the real world, but also a great way to bond with friends and family. Collecting memories is the new way to get rich for escape room fans and celebrities, who are no doubt also loving the chance to do something different and get real.
Like enthusiastic puzzle solving coyotes, escape room fans tend to travel in packs. Some do the odd escape room for special occasions throughout the year, while others take it pretty seriously. Traveling across the globe looking for the ultimate escape room experience.
Think about it, what a fantastic way to validate traveling the world with your friends or family and visit the deepest darkest corners to experience new escape rooms together.
We are 30 times more likely to laugh when we’re with other people than when we’re alone. Robert R. Provine, Professor of psychology and neuroscience explains:
“People who laugh a lot may just have a strong connection to the people around them. That in itself might have health benefits.”
While we can’t guarantee that all escape rooms are silly, all of our escape rooms are screech and giggle inducing. Lady Chastity in particular is renowned for her naughty rhetorics and, while our game host may be there to help with the odd clue, they’re also there to make sure you’re having fun. The bonding power of being on a collective mission and laughing together will give you a boost and lead to a number of laughter health benefits. Laughing and solving puzzle can help you:
If you haven’t experienced an escape room yet, then there’s no better time. Just choose your game to get started. We have escape rooms in London and Brighton located in great pubs with plenty of other pub related antics to keep you busy either side of your game.
You can also head on over to the escape room directory playexitgames.com to plan your next escape room hopping adventure.