A history of room escapes – initial concepts and predecessors
While Wikipedia suggests that the year 2006 is the earliest point of reference for the development of real world games where people are locked in a room and must make an effort to explore the environment around them to find clues in order to escape a room – there isn’t enough substantial evidence I could find to back this up. Plus I didn’t want to write a blog based on facts from broken links in the Wikipedia article on real life room escape, so have only listed what I could find from reputable sources.
From here on, I’ll start discussing the history of room escapes from the starting date of when actual room escape companies started their business. Discussion about online room escape games e.g. Crimson Room as a concept that inspired the development of room escapes is worthy of another blog in it’s own time.
It started the same year the iPhone was released – in 2007 – when SCRAP Entertainment, based in Japan – began after its founder Takao Kato saw a classmate playing an online game, whereby she had to click around the room in order to find clues and objects which would help her to unlock the room’s door. Following this, Kato wondered about bringing the concept of the game to life, so players could immerse themselves in it fully and the company developed this idea into what it called ‘real escape games’ – which are temporary events lasting a couple of weeks at most.
To find the first room escape predecessor that looks similar to current real life room escapes ie. where the business has an established location that visitors can visit throughout the year, there were probably several set up in Japan between 2007 and 2011. However for the earliest predecessor outside of Japan, you need to look at Budapest, Hungary. In 2011, Parapark was the first company in Hungary which created a room escape facility which meets the criteria: people pay to be locked in a room, must utilise their skills to find objects to solve puzzles to escape a room and the business is in a permanent location. The founder of Parapark, Attila Guyrkovics studied team building concepts and the result was an experience where people can bring the unexpected into their lives.
Following this other early room escape game providers include:
– HintHunt Debrecen, Hungary – February 2012
– Real Escape Game, USA – March 2012
– HintHunt UK – April 2012
– Adventure Rooms Bern, Switzerland – November 2012
– Exitgames Romania, Romania – TBA, 2012
If anyone knows of any other room escape game providers which started their business in 2012, please let me know. Otherwise feel free to leave a suggestion or comment!
P.S. Thanks for being patient everyone, posting blogs for Blog February should get back on track now!
– Early history of Parapark
Tagged: 2006, 2007, 2011, adventure, Attila Guyrkovics, budapest, entertainment, escape room, escapes, events, fun, fun escapes, games, History of Room Escapes, Hungary, japan, live escape, news, parapark, Real Escape Game, real life room escape, real world, room escape, Room Escape Game, room escape games, scrap entertainment, takao kato, Tokyo, travel, unique, wikipedia