If someone asks you about the uses of an Escape Room, what comes to your mind?

  • It can be used to organize a different type of private event; one that’ll get all the guests involved in the games.
  • It can be used to bring the entire family together for a hands-on experience.
  • It (assuming a kid-friendly Escape Room) can be used to give children a feel of teamwork and friendly competition.

All pretty good uses; and ones you expect, right?

For example, Ocean State Escape is the place to be, for anything from families to social service groups looking for things to do in Rhode Island.

But, here’s one use of an escape room that, nine times out of ten, you would never have guessed.

What goes into the creation of an Escape Room

Those who’re opening an Escape Room on their own – one of the first things they need to consider is, what will the escape games be based on?

What will be the theme based on which the backstory/backstories of the mission(s) are developed?

And, sometimes it’s at this stage that an Escape Room can be made really meaningful.

Escape missions based on a community

Forgotten communities, people who have been left behind, and towns and villages where the industry that led the economy and created lots of jobs has been decimated…

…such places and people have been in the news recently, for all sorts of reasons.

The main point is that in many cases it was the main industry – coal mines, or iron and steel plants, etc – which used to define these people and these communities.

And the shuttering or shifting of the industry led to a loss not only of livelihoods, but also of identities.

What if an Escape Room could be based on that community?

Escape Room based on steelworks

Consett is a former ‘steel town’ in the UK. It used to house one of the UK’s largest steelworks; and the steel industry came to define the town.

When the steelworks were closed down, it not only led to a loss of jobs; but, in a way, it robbed the town of its identity.

Enter The Old Courthouse

Wife and husband Helen and David Parkinson, who bought The Old Courthouse kitchen and bar in Consett, decided to set up two Escape Rooms above the pub.

One of the rooms would be based on witches and witchcraft.

The other one – while based on an ancient myth – is based on the town’s old steelworks.

Players have to follow clues lying around the steelworks as they seek to create an artefact out of steel.

The mission is directly based on the shuttered steelworks and can stimulate a lot of interest in them.

Escape Rooms revitalizing a community?

Well, this one Escape Room may be too small in scale to ‘revitalize’ the entire town.

However, the escape mission that’s based on the former steelworks is sure to spark interest in people about the industries that used to define the town.

And, this can happen in a lot of places.

In a rural community, for example, an Escape Room can include a mission or two that are based on rural life.

Why would an Escape Room be so successful at kindling interest and enthusiasm among people for something that’s been shut down?

That’s because of the hand-on nature of the Escape Room experience.

In an Escape Room, players go through a real experience, picking up and manipulating real things with their hands, and actively thinking of ways to make it through the room in time.

(via GIPHY)

In other words, the experience comes alive at an Escape Room; which is what makes it memorable.

And that is what will actively stimulate interest in the theme the Escape Room is based on – in this case, the shuttered steel works.

Real experiences in the virtual age

In the age of virtual reality, and digital everything, an Escape Room creates a real experience, helping players disconnect from digital distractions and concentrate on creating real experiences and making shared memories.

That’s part of the magic of an Escape Room.

It’s what makes booking an escape such a compelling thing to do for the weekend.

You can find out more about the Consett Escape Room from this news report.