Have you heard about these escape rooms? It’s a cool new way to have some good, clean fun with teenagers.
Well, I hadn’t heard of them but my kids sure did. They are actually called “escape rooms”. Essentially, they are games where real people go into a real room and try to get out using clues and puzzle solving skills. They are popping up all over the place. Each room has a theme.
So last Saturday afternoon, seven of us, aged 16 to 52 yrs, headed out on one of these indoor adventures. They are graded on difficulty, which is basically the percentage of folks who actually escape the room. Fewer people escape the harder rooms. We opted for a mid-level difficulty.
The process was so interesting. Those who had been in a game like this before had a slight advantage. They were a little quicker to see where the clues were likely to be hiding, and how to connect the dots, so to speak. However, those who hadn’t been in an escape room before caught on quickly and had no problem finding and thinking through clues.
You look at everything. You are trying to solve a problem – how to physically get out of a locked room. You have to turn everything upside down and inside out. This is much like life coaching. Clients start telling you their stories, their assessment of the problems they want to work on. Typically, they are looking at the problem in one way, often confusing the facts from their thoughts about the facts.
This is pretty much what happened during the game. We found lots of clues. But the challenge really was pushing ourselves to look at the clues from many, many different angles. Turning them upside down and inside out. Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren’t. Ironically, the most obvious clue we didn’t understand had to do with a shining light. A big huge light source. It was really big and bright so we knew it had a purpose.
We came up with many ideas about the potential solution related to the clue, but in the end, we completely missed the boat, not even imagining that the clue about light might have to do with darkness, and the nearby door that we opened may have to be closed.
We didn’t deserve to escape that room.
We had fun though. But it was definitely a reminder that the solutions to some problems take real digging and challenge the way you need to look at the problem completely!
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