It seems that escape rooms have exploded in popularity in recent years. They’re more than just a fun experience, though. These escape rooms can promote innovative thinking by teaching people to take creative risks in their efforts to successfully solve the room. After the experience, many people continue to use the lessons they learned in the escape room to solve everyday issues. This makes escape rooms an excellent activity for team building events, leadership groups, and other organizations seeking to elevate their thinking.
How Escape Rooms Increase Innovation & Creativity
Here’s how your escape room adventure could lead to more innovative and creating solutions for your own group.
Limited Time To Escape
Escape rooms are timed activities, and groups typically have just one hour to solve the riddles. Dealing with this time crunch can help encourage more creative thinking. Participants understand that with such a limited amount of time to solve such a unique puzzle, the answer itself will likely be just as interesting.
As a result, they’ll quickly make decisions, test solutions, and continue working with the next one if the original idea fails. Thanks to the limited amount of time available, groups may be more willing to actually attempt a wide range of solutions, rather than waste time discussing the specific merits and concerns with each. Creative and cautions solutions alike have an equal chance of being attempted now, and participants may be more likely to suggest out of the box ideas.
A Unique Environment
Even if your group has completed an escape room before, each one is unique in terms of both the riddles it asks you to solve and the environment in which it places you. Some may have more visual effects, while others may have distracting sounds. Because you’ve never encountered a similar environment before, the lack of familiarity will encourage creativity. There is likely no obvious starting point, and participants will have to push their mental abilities to understand their new world and find the solution.
The Need For Team Collaboration
So much of our day to day work is completed alone, from household chores to projects at work. Escape rooms ask people to work in teams to successfully find their way out of the room. When people who are accustomed to working independently come together in a team, they begin to think differently. Now, each member must consider their teammates’ strengths, ideas, and own thought processes when making decisions. Participants may realize that because they have a team of people to support them, they can attempt more ambitious solutions that require multiple actions or sequences they would otherwise be unable to even consider as a solo player.
Analyzing Clues & Hints
Puzzles are a series of trials and errors, and each failure pushes participants to consider a more creative answer than the last one. As people work through escape room puzzles, they use the information they gained from previous clues and hints given by the gamemaster. They continue making educated guesses to finally come up with the correct solution, using creativity to test each potential solution, analyze it, and choose the next best option if it fails.
Some escape rooms contain encoded language, enigmatic instructions, and riddles that lead to breakthrough clues. Because they’re not written in plain language, participants must think creatively to crack the codes. They may use the room’s theme to give them clues, or begin another trial and error process of choosing and testing solutions.
Riddles in particular encourage people to think beyond the obvious to understand what the riddle is describing or suggesting as a course of action. They will consider alternate meanings of words, symbolism, and other devices to understand the riddle’s meaning. As an added bonus, these code breaking activities can encourage better communication skills.
Escape rooms are fast-paced, competitive events. Everyone’s natural desire to win will come out, but in the end, it’s just a game. Knowing that there are no consequences — aside from taking a silly picture later to show your results — may encourage people to think more creatively than if they were faced with serious consequences after receiving their results. After all, what do they really have to lose? In the end, escape rooms are still a fun, challenging experience, regardless of the result.
Booking Your Northern Virginia Escape Room Experience
Speak to Bond’s Escape Room for more information about escape rooms and to schedule your own Arlington escape room event. Bond’s is the largest escape room venue on the East Coast, with 13 themed rooms to explore. With scenarios ranging from alien invasions to horror films and cowboys, your group will easily find the perfect room. Each room contains theatre-grade props and challenging puzzles that transport your group to the center of their own story. Groups booking private events at Bond’s receive the use of the VIP Room for one hour, which they can use to conduct pre- or post-event briefings to discuss their goals and learnings.