Lessons from Failing an Escape Room

Whenever we think about any type of failure, in particular on a personal level, we are reminded of Batman's dad, Thomas Wayne, saying to his son, Bruce, “Why do we Fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.” At many times in our lives we'll have to deal with the concept of failure. No one is immune. But it not the act of failure that matters. It's how we get up and move forwards, making sure that we have taken heed of, what was essentially, a life lesson. Or as American's like to say, "a teachable moment."

Playing an escape room game is hugely rewarding, especially if you are able to complete the whole exercise within the allotted time limit. But the game levels need to be graded as closely as possible to the abilities of the team. It's all a huge waste of time, money, and effort if the game is too easy. Conversely, if the game proves too difficult, it'll put off players. To get this balancing act to the correct point, where all players feel that they were stretched but not broken, is a very difficult process. Sometimes just one failing clue can sink the whole ship. But to put a positive spin on escape room game fails, let's see what we can learn from our experience. 

The More You Fail, The More You Succeed

This is an oxymoron. Obviously, the more you fail, the more you're a failure! But, for the sake of argument, let's turn that concept on its head. The chances are that you failed by making the wrong choice before the game even started. In most escape rooms, the games are graded from easy to difficult. One problem many people have is that in spite of never having played an escape room game before, they will opt for a more difficult scenario, simply because no one wants to start at the bottom. As with all things in life, the more you play, the better you'll become. Escape rooms by nature are full of puzzles and riddles that you've never come across before. They require a certain "mindset" in order to see them, let alone solve them. Once you have played through a few escape room games, then your way of looking at things will change. It's all down to experience.  

Failure Can Be Fun

We've heard it said many times, especially by first-time players, that “this was the most fun I ever had failing at something!” This should be the main takeaway after a game. That you had a blast playing and that the fun-factor should be the dominant feeling when the game is over. Of course, we are all competitive deep down. But the idea of finishing first isn't a good enough reason to play. That's because you're setting yourself up for failure. And should you fail, then that pressure you put on yourself will leave you feeling disappointed. You might be thinking that the Game Master could have offered more and better clues to help you. But that would be missing the whole point of the game. And that is to have a great time doing something new and exciting.

When You’re Willing To Fail, You Open The Door to More Opportunities

If you never try an escape room, there's no chance of you completing one. Without trying, then you've already failed. Taking a risk, even as part of a game, is an essential quality of getting the best out of life. Let's face it, escape rooms are pretty light on the spectrum of risk-taking  with no real consequences other than you competing it within the time limits or not. So maybe the only thing that might suffer is your pride. y taking part in an escape room, you'll be raising yourself up to a new challenge. It'll give you the opportunity to think outside the box. It'll give you a different perspective on problem-solving and expand your worldview. And it'll allow you to experience something totally new and different. Learning to take calculated risks is something that appears to have been lost thanks to modern means of parenting. But that's a story for another day.

As in life, you will fail at some point during an escape room game. But this is not a reflection on you. No one can win a new game all the time. The whole point of the escape room is to challenge you. As the game is progressing, and you become more and more aware that the time is counting down, the stress and mad rush for the finish line is what makes these games so very enjoyable. So, take a risk. if you fail, just climb back up in the saddle and try again.