Coping: With the Rise of “Escape Rooms”

Never too late to get behind a fad…one that had somehow been lost in my normal flow of “things going by” most of which are helplessly financial, therefore boring, except when comes to spending money.

I had never heard of “Escape Rooms” until daughter Allison called and explained that she, hubby Jace, and their friends Tess and her hubby had gotten together and done a new Escape Room in Seattle.

A what?” asked the hopelessly clueless dad.

This was followed with an outline of how an escape room works. A group of people shows up for a “performance” and they are taken into a room with a bunch of props in it.

In the particular room these folks attended, it was explained that it’s very much like the “murder mystery” shows, when you try to figure out whodunit before a certain amount of time.

Except, unlike the murder mystery theater, you all work together to find “clues” which have been left in the setting.

No contain with the outside world, and guests are usually told that there is no sticking fingers in electric sockets, because the clues are more obvious than that.

The first series of clues came from one of the people in the room, who was in on the act. He had one of those endless handkerchiefs and every different color had a dash on it.

Well, one thing leads to another and a series of easy clues are quickly found.

A clock which is positioned at 12:00 exactly, a baby picture with the tot on the floor, a horse piece from a chess set…a worm… and after five, or six, clues like these, the dashes on the handkerchief started to make sense.

At least to my daughter (who tells me people tend to “overthink” a lot).

She figured that each of the clues was getting the group into the idea of “night.”

As in mid-night, black-night, night-crawler, and so forth.

There is a magician;’s trunk involved, which seemed pretty normal, at least at first. But eventually as play progresses, the players figure there might be something in the magicians chest that could only be seen at “night.” So one of them got in the chest and it was briefly closed.

As it did, a black light came on and a secret code was revealed and…

Well, you get the idea.

She told me about one of their Escape Room adventures where the final clue to escape was written on a mirror and only showed up if you breathed on the mirror to fog it…

All in all, a pretty neat deal. It’s like one of those old text adventure games where you get prompted for this and that as play progresses. Except it is in real life.  And $40 bucks a head, too…at least for the one she filled me in on.

Apparently, this is quite the game/thing going around these days among the 30-50 set. Springing up in places like Ohio, though the West Coast has many to choose from.

To find a local one, just Google escape room plus your city. (Here’s the Seattle search.) I like the sound of Sherlocked since we are Watson fans. An “escape rate” of 30% sounds plenty challenging enough, to us.

Is there a prepper angle to this? Nope. No ailerons, sails, or antennas, that I could think of. But what the hell. Some times, human’s being just like to have some fun for a change.

Still, there’s some psychological aspects we may till down the road…because it certainly could be a metaphor for that 30-50 age group: Feeling trapped and wanting very much to escape.

In the grand scheme of things, here’s hoping their success rate is well over 30%.

Personal Brain-Speed Testing

Oh, boy, now what? We may have found a buyer for our trusty old airplane and this morning I’ll be dropping the shop manual off for Jeremy the Mechanic who will is starting the annual. There is not too much to be done this year – we have poured money liberally all over the airplane and, with the eyes coming back to “legal to fly” we have to make an assessment as to future flying adventures.

Eyesight seems to be my only issue…as my reactions speeds are holding up really well.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time taking online reaction speed tests, and at this one over here, I came in (after working all day) at 300 Milliseconds, which is in the top 35 percentile for the test.

Same geezer, different test, the one over here, guessed me as a 27 year old because a 67-year old geeze could be up in the 769 MS speed range and be normal. Not me. My 300 MS score from the other site would have been figured to be 19…but what can I say?

I credit keeping up on Morse code at 30 words per minute for a good portion of the fast personal processor time.

There are many reasons, perhaps: A good loading dose of caffiene, Huperzine-A, great vitamin regimen, and so forth.

I mention this so you can find an online test or three and make some notes for later reference.

A LOT of reaction time improvement comes from having a “clear mind.”

What I mean by that is simple: If you have a lot of “processor noise” running in the background all the time, you will be dividing your personal processing on the things that matter (controling an airplane in nasty conditions, or reacting to a sudden stop required when driving) and things that don’t matter.

It has a lot to do with being fully present in the moment.

I have been consistently shocked how few people spend time in the Now. A very few people will answer the question “What are you thinking right now?” with “I’m waiting for an auspicious moment to begin my next task…” or even better “I’m just enjoying Now, thank you.”

Lot of fun to watch Now go by. It’s fun to watch while gently wondering “Where does Now come from?” and then, as the old Now fades off “Where did Now go?”

Like riding a wave, it is hard to be on it, just so, but that’s where your best reaction times may be expected – in martial arts-like centeredness with the processor running quietly.

Mental self-discipline is hard at first, but when you chase down the noise sources, dealing with each in turn, stress lifts and appreciation of Now shows up.

I liken it to living in the “ready” state. Old is when you forget how to do that and have old trash being spun around that is pointless and useless. Unprocessed crap means instead of “ready” you have to a) stop the useless process b) get to the ready for next state and c) finally recognize new and then react to it.

The mechanical linkage (more properly electrochemical) between the brain and extremities is fairly steady over time. It’s the extraneous processor-load that keeps people from operating at factory speed specs as part of the aging process.

A good starting point is never going to bed with issues unresolved.

Write when you get rich,


Coping: With the Rise of “Escape Rooms” — 9 Comments

  1. George, Speaking of brain speed and mental discipline, I came across a WaPo article today that you might find of interest.
    I’m not sure all the “speeding up” in our culture these days is a good thing, but I have to admit that I also get impatient these days with the slowness of audio/visual presentations, and prefer to read so I can quickly skim material to “get to the point”. I’ll have to try some of his tricks.

  2. Back in 2008 2009 I sold a few properties back then I had an idea that I wanted to open up an office and in the office I wanted to hire like 10 people you know who you are and some of them could have been a little longer receptive sign I’ll have to say psychic but I should say receptive and what we would do is scan all the news outlets on our computers and our little office and out of the ten of us you know if someone didn’t know whatever if someone had a feeling that this is going to work here and you know out of 10 what what you do if you take the ones who are exceptionally making money and progressed with their intuitions and the ones that don’t you don’t exactly let him go you put them on a trial basis and say you see what’s happening here maybe they can train you wake up because sometimes it works that way slow people can pick up on things that fast vibrational people tent cat cat not 10th can’t not 10th okay alright so anyway I’m not typing this stuff so here we go with this Google Voice thing and it’s not working that well compared to all the other things that I thought today when I think it most of them anyway were typed not voice activated so anyway what’s your next idea that you would like to put out there anytime it if I’m rambling right it if it don’t make sense if it’s not good for the call then erase it and start over

  3. I like to think that the advantage of being older is that you have experience, and can hopefully deal with whatever problem you are faced with.

    ‘Escape rooms’ are a mild, modern equivalent (entertaining yes, but hardly ‘real’) of the situation faced by say, the people went west on the Oregon Trail. Those people left their relatively predictable lives to attempt the difficult and many times tragic journey, because mostly the men folk wanted ‘more’ from life.

    Human beings are predisposed to have this mindset and in the long run anyone catering to people having ‘an adventure’, will make money.

  4. the wife has us scheduled for the escape room thing in July.

    I’ll report back. If I get out.

  5. I think I’d prefer playing a board game called “Mastermind” as in college, or reading the”Encyclopedia Brown” series, as in grade school. Maybe they need E.B. for adults.

  6. The only escape room I knew of before this was of the hardened bullet proof kind the rich put in their mansions to act as a refuge in case of home invasion. Though I’ve never been into gaming much. Too busy with real life things.

    James Johnson, ex-nuke

  7. I was in Indianapolis last month, and one of the advertised “thing to do” was this escape room thing. I felt it to be a mash up of I spy with the movie version of Clue. Anyhow, they had a couple of family friendly versions around 7-9 pm and several adult ones, which ran up to 3 am. The later times were all sold out for weeks ahead. I knew murder-mystery dinner theaters were considered enjoyable, but this takes it to another level. It’s like the difference between fantasy and reality is becoming even closer to blurring when you think about it.

      • Come on there George go ahead comment on about what it is that we need to be able to enter a different vibrational reception antenna I mean I know you’re good on the ham radio stuff but let’s get into the human stuff where we’re able to receive them things I said not them