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In Memoriam: Honoring Those Who Still Haven’t Returned From Escape Rooms


Escape rooms can be a blast. Getting together with friends and family to enter a real life puzzle-solving experience, working to accomplish solvable tasks and figuring out clues, is a great way to form bonds and generate outside of the box thinking in a fun way. But what about all of the people who never escape the room? Today, we want to honor all of those who are still trapped in escape rooms and those who have tragically perished trying to find their way out.

Despite the fact that many escape rooms can be solved in just 45-60 minutes, experts have estimated that roughly 17% of all escape rooms go unsolved by those within them. Considering that most tens of thousands of room escapes are attempted each year, each with two to ten players on average, that means roughly thousands of aspiring escapists die each year trying to solve puzzles before they run out of air in the room.

“It’s truly a devastating statistic once you look at the numbers,” said escape room analyst Jeremiah Hays. “Heart disease and car accidents are the two leading causes of deaths in the United States, but failing to find your way out of an escape room is number three, and many people either don’t know about it or choose to not pay attention. And I worry that, as escape rooms grow in popularity, the number of deaths is only going to climb over the next few decades.”

So what can be done about this growing crisis? According to Hays, we need comprehensive changes to the ways that escape rooms operate.

“First and foremost, some escape rooms are simply too difficult. I understand that they pose a challenge to extreme escape roomers, but I think we can all agree that escape rooms can be, on average, a little bit easier if it saves lives,” Hays explained. “But I also think that we can overhaul the hint system to help those who are about to be in a crisis situation. Many escape rooms currently offer no hints to players at all, and I have personally spoken with President Biden about signing an executive order to make this illegal. Escape rooms need to be proactive about making sure that people are able to escape their rooms; lack of good hints — ones that give players a new perspective on a puzzle without outright solving it for them — are a major safety issue.”

“But we also need to win the war on information,” Hays added. “I’ve seen some of my colleagues advocate for letting players out of the room if they don’t solve the puzzles. I think that’s disgusting.”

Hopefully we can overcome our differences and sheed light on this horrible issue. Until then, we honor all of those who have suffocated to death because they were too dumb to escape rooms all around the world. God bless you all.