Escape rooms aren’t exactly a new concept. Even though they’ve only just started to gain notoriety, they’ve actually existed for a while now. Despite beginning in Japan as a humble virtual adventure game, escape rooms have grown immensely in popularity over the years, appealing to people across the globe.
Where it all started
In the beginning, video games utilised commands that relied on textual cues to play the game. Gradually, as technology began to see incredible advancements, so did the gameplay. They began to rely on visuals as well, which ensured the meteoric rise of the industry in the 70s. In order to stand out from the rampant competition at the time, companies started looking to brand new ideas to make games even more immersive.
This desire led to the advent of the point-and-click game, which is arguably a direct ancestor of escape rooms. These were mainly played on computer devices as you were required to use a cursor for the gameplay. The considerable fame these types of games enjoyed led to even more innovation – which would one day lead to the escape room games we know today.
The earliest versions
In the late 80s, a developer named John Wilson made a game that heavily relied on text; Behind Closed Doors. In it, you, as the player and protagonist, are stuck in a room. Sound familiar? Over the years, the concept was developed until it could be adapted to the point-and-click computer gameplay. With access to the Internet in the early 2000s, creators like “Toshimitsu Takagi” made online escape games more and more popular.
This style of game was called “Takagism” in honour of one of the genre’s pioneers. They were noted for their atmospheric storytelling and immersive gameplay experience. They also tend to elicit feelings of isolation through music and restrained interface to heighten the intensity. The games would have players look around their space for clues on how to escape – usually through a single door. These games would then become the catalyst for real-life, physical escape rooms.
The first official escape room
The first real escape room was established in Kyoto, Japan, by Takao Kato in 2007. According to him, a combination of his fascination with the genre of video games and wanting adventure in his own life led to this creation.
In the beginning, these escape rooms were only held in bars and clubs in Japan. Soon, however, physical locations specifically for escape rooms were being built worldwide.
The appeal of escape rooms
In the mid-2010s, escape rooms saw a massive spike in fame. Besides the many advantages of participating in an escape room and how fun they are, people craved more unique experiences in a world already saturated with media. There is the novelty of being the protagonist of your very own adventure story. People also wanted something more immersive and active. Escape rooms engage people intellectually and physically, making them the perfect activity for many.
Escape rooms have existed a while in many forms over the past few decades. It is a highly appealing type of adventure that will always remain a one-of-a-kind experience. Lockdown Escape provides a wide variety of activities that excite and intrigue the mind. Come on down and see for yourselves! Contact us today to find out more.