Escape Rooms use one of the oldest motivation of human kind, the desire to solve puzzles. We find in puzzles one of the most popular leisure activity of all times. When the first crossword puzzle appeared in the New York World in 1913 it became an instant hit and soon the whole USA was infected by crossword mania. Rubic Cubes, Sudokus, Word Riddles almost everybody knows the feeling of being absorbed by such an artificially created mystery. Even games such as chess are basically an ever changing version of one and the same puzzle. ‘What pieces do I have to move to end up in a more powerful position then my opponent?’ One can easily claim that most board games present to the player a dynamic puzzle that can never be solved perfectly.
Puzzle trigger an innate human trait to structure, classify, order the world in the pursue to understand it. While science has become the highest profession of puzzle solving, everybody is his own little scientist when testing what works and what doesn’t. On my last vacation I again experienced the detrimental effect it can have to a conversationwhen one throws a riddle in the room. For the time being till it is solved or the answer is released there seems to be no way back and people can’t stop thinking about and analyzing the problem. Sometimes in between, one comes up with the worried question if there really is an answer. Of course I confirm this and secretly wonder if there are really people out there listening with sadistic pleasure to their friends cracking their skulls about a puzzle that has no solution.
I wrote my Thesis in Psychology about the detrimental effects of perception of chaos and lack of control and it seems that solving puzzles is a perfect illustration of bringing order into chaotic structures. This is one of the great attributes of Escape Rooms. They don’t need much explanation. Lock people in a room and present them with puzzles they will automatically try to solve them and innate human curiosity will drive people crazy to look into boxes or try to access hidden chambers. Humans are natural born puzzle solvers and we also seem to find great pleasure in creating them for others.
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