Escape rooms breakout boxes are a relatively recent entertainment phenomenon that became famous globally in the early 2010s and now can be found in several cities around the orb. Generally, an escape room will be played by a small team of people over an hour, who will be ‘locked’ in a physical space and have to solve puzzles within the time limit to escape. The escape games will take place within some overarching narrative with a core goal, for example, to escape from the mad scientist’s lab with the secret formula, defuse the bomb and save the world, or escape from the Pharaoh’s tomb with the treasure. This narrative will influence how the room is fixed and dressed, as well as the types of games that are within it. The portion of the narrative can vary, as escape rooms can be either narrative-driven or theme-driven. Theme-driven escape rooms revolve around a theme structured by the decorations, props, audio tracks, and audio-visual materials used to match the music, but the narrative is not a responsibility. In contrast, narrative-driven escape rooms have a strong plot and performers. The players are fixed into a role inner side of the storyline through some pre-game video or a story presented by the Game master; the goal will usually also tie into this narrative.
Escape rooms and education
● Escape Ed in the United States was one of the foremost educational escape room developers, focusing on maths and science games in high schools.
● In the United Kingdom, Samantha Clarke, at the Disruptive Learning Lab at Coventry University and Liz Cable at Leeds Trinity University, has been working with escape games in Higher Education for several years.
● The Endoscopes project, supported by the EU Learning Games project, has been running for the past four years and focuses on students’ learning through creating their games rather than just playing them.
● Breakout Edie Germany is a relatively active Facebook group discussing escape rooms in education and providing examples since 2017.
● In Spain, Christian Niger offers Definitive marks on Escapes and Breakouts. Here you can pick some sources to involve spaces to make breakouts or some fascinating instances.
● The Gate School Escape Room task is based on the task and implementation of studies oriented escape room in the English language titled “The Gate School Escape Room.” Firstly, as far as the educational escape room’s contextual process is concerned, “The Gate School Escape Room” is an academic proposal designed and implemented in a secondary education center located in the city of Valladolid of the Community of Castillo y León.
Challenges connected with using escape rooms in studies
ü First, they pick expertise in both entertainment and learning design to create from scratch.
ü An escape room kit – including lockers, pads, chains, etc. – can be expensive and needs to be robust enough to withstand regular manhandling alike.
ü Escape rooms are time- and teacher-intensive as only small groups can play a game at any given time, and games need to be monitored to ensure that they are on track and share hints and clues, including setup time.