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  • James Kirk

Escape Games in Media: I Saw it on TV in a Movie that I Read

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Hello friends! I have returned after a hiatus and am back with the information and opinions you never asked for but knew you wanted. Today we are looking at escape rooms in the media. This includes TV, movies, books etc. Full disclosure: this is not an exhaustive list and I did not search for months to find every reference. This is a perspective based on my experiences of escape rooms as presented in our mass media and pop culture.

I want to start by saying that even though I smile when a reference to an escape room pops up (like in S4 Ep10 of Supergirl), most representation in mass media is largely unfavorable. Are they entertaining? Sure, but not very accurate and, in some cases, could be a detriment to the industry.

Horror-ible Representation

Since 2017 three movies have been released carrying the name “Escape Room.” Most recently released in January of 2019. In each case, these rooms are depicted as horror filled and carrying a high chance of someone being murdered. Now, we both know that businesses would not be successful if the players were paying to be locked in a room they might not come out of. This is a bad business model. It does, however, paint Escape Rooms as only being for fans of horror or creepy things…or Skeet Ulrich. Seriously, his escape room movie in 2017 was the worst. Early on, this led to players only coming to escape rooms if they were fans of horror.

Luckily (or not), as time has gone on these rooms have been more prevalent in sitcoms like Big Bang Theory (S8 Ep16 “The Intimacy Acceleration”) or The Middle (S8 Ep10 “Escape Orson”). In cases like this, escape rooms are depicted as places where the hosts are bored or not very caring and because it is a comedy the situations are of course taken to a higher level for the laughs. I don’t blame any of these representations because they are used within a specific genre, but I do want you to take them in with some perspective.

As people, we carry an inherent feeling of dread being locked in somewhere, and for good reason. We are not built to be confined. If we were, we would likely all live-in actual jail communities making wine from the toilet and trading cigarettes for goods and services. See that? I just took my experiences watching media depicting jails and made a judgment of how that type of living experience works. We do it all the time.

What You Should Know

Not all escape rooms are designed to be scary! The roots of many rooms do come from the haunt industry but that is often as far as it goes. You will certainly find a fair share of horror or suspense themed rooms, but that is not the only genre out there. You can find an amazing variety of rooms to play ranging from haunted rooms to prisons, libraries, police stations and even your grandmother’s living room.

The hosts do not sleep at their desks or ignore your requests for hints after taking a dose of forget-it-all (that’s the over the counter name). I’m not going to guarantee you that every place you go will have overwhelming customer service, but all of the good escape room businesses in Lemoyne and York, like Escape Games Live, will have personable hosts that are good at their job and care about your experience.

So, before you pass up a Pennsylvania escape room because “I don’t like scary” or “they seem weird.” I assure you, we at Escape Games Live are ready to entertain you. We want nothing more than to surprise and delight you and your guests. Come see for yourself.

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