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Why do we like escape rooms?

January 19, 2024

What’s so fun about being locked in a room? If you’ve never taken on the challenge of completing an escape room yourself, you might be asking this question. It’s no doubt that escape rooms and other mind-toggling games have recently increased in popularity. But what makes this strange endeavor so enticing?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an escape room is, “A room in which people are locked in order to play a game requiring them to solve a series of puzzles within a certain amount of time to accomplish a goal, typically finding the key to unlock the room.” Those who agree to be locked in race against the clock and try to find a way out as soon as possible.

In the U.S. escape rooms started to rise in popularity in the 2010s, however, mind-puzzling games have been around for decades. Video game-style escape and mind challenges have roots as early as the 1970s. According to The Escape Game, the first real-life escape game was created in Japan in 2007. Takao Kato created the game after seeing the success of video escape games. The U.S. saw an explosion in escape room popularity in 2014, and today they are found across the country and the globe.

There are several theories as to why escape rooms are so popular. The challenge alone draws many people in, wanting to test their cognitive and deductive reasoning skills. Another reason may be due to the rise in experiential entertainment. This new type of entertainment is becoming more and more popular as people want to “do” rather than just “sit and watch”. Instead of just watching or reading about characters, customers get to be the characters and create their own adventures. Since these rooms are often completed in teams, they can also create a great environment for fostering team building and bonding. When people are locked in a room together, they are often forced to work out any disagreements and help each other escape.

Abby Newman is a Liberty University student who has a history with escape rooms herself. One of Abby’s favorite pastimes is completing escape rooms with her friends and family. When asked why her family enjoys this seemingly odd and difficult game she stated, “It’s fun to work together as a team to discover clues and puzzles all while trying to get out in a certain amount of time. Plus, you feel super accomplished when you make it out!”

Are you interested in taking on a challenge for yourself? Register for Student Activities Labyrinth: Scavenger Hunt. The games begin on Saturday, January 20th at the LaHaye Event Space.




Written by Mary Richey

Mary is a sophomore studying Hospitality Management. She enjoys spending time outdoors, going to coffee shops, and is always up for a road trip. Creative writing has always been one of her favorite hobbies!