Mega escape from London
Mega Escape Room London (MERL) in a 3600 sq. m. hall in the EXPO XXI building in Warsaw. A one-of-a-kind event with period decorations, costumes, props and acting lined with a touch of modernity is a joy not only for companies. How come is interest in the game rising? That’s one of the topics Patricia Michalska asked the game’s creator, Ewa Popławska.
Mega Escape Room, in its stationary version, is a game that takes place in a hall arranged to look like the city of London at night. Mega decorations: tenement houses, a 6-meter tall Big Ben model in the central area, the London Bank building, the dark docks, St. Mary’s Hospita, the Circus – these are just a small part of the street visuals that can transport the players to 19th century Victorian London. The atmosphere is further aided by the dynamic sounds of the vibrant city: street noises, passing cabs, newspaper salesmen yelling. The Game Master is an inseparable element of the game. He’s a London celebrity that emerges from the dense London fog in the most unexpected moments. London is occupied – the players are tasked with escaping the trap within two hours. To achieve this, players must join forces to solve a number of puzzles.
PM: What makes this unique? What makes it different from standard escape rooms? What is it about this games that fills the players with such enthusiasm?
EP: MERL is unique not only thanks for the beautiful image of London presented and the special effects, but also thanks the live gamification method of my invention. Live gamification is a conscious and intentional implementation of a specific methodology and technique into the game, using contemporary psychological knowledge and acting out roles of famous characters from literature, art and film. This increases the immersion, helps influence the behaviors and attitudes of people.
Why does this matter to the participants? By taking part in a game that helps them know each other better and co-operate, they can release their inhibitions and develop their soft competences. They have great fun and discover their strong points, gaining enthusiasm, motivation, and involvement. The end-game isn’t only determined by how many ciphers are found and riddles solved – that’s only part of the whole array of tasks. Aside from mental tasks, we also present players in challenges that involve their agility. The event also requires negotiation, strategic, communicative, relationshipbuilding and logistical skills, along with teaching creativity and teamwork.
An inseparable element of many tasks is a humorous element. All this results in a large amount of enthusiasm, immersion and motivation.
PM: I am aware that this game can be played ourside of the EXPO hall as well…
EP: Yes. We often organize it for trips, in hotels, conference areas and other venues. We offer a mobile form of decoration that can be adjusted to fit into the environment of the hotel, the client’s budget and vision, as well as the way the event is implemented – indoors or outdoors.
PM: How many participants can play the game at the same time?
EP: From twenty people, up to a couple thousand at the same time. It may be hard to believe, but it’s possible. With very large group it’s only a matter of very complex logistics and budget, of course I can’t deny that we are currently working on such a large undertaking as event marketing.
PM: How long does one game last?
EP: Usually it’s two, up to even four hours for very large groups and as a tutorial session (conducted by business coaches)/ For the tutorial game we propose an audit and soft training package, depending on the aims set by the client.
PM: Who may be interested in this offer?
EP: Usually it’s two, up to even four hours for very large groups and as a tutorial session (conducted by business coaches)/ For the tutorial game we propose an audit and soft training package, depending on the aims set by the
PM: Who may be interested in this offer?
EP: The game is aimed mostly towards company employees or clients. During summer, in July and August, it is also available to individuals. The game can also take place in English for tourists and foreign company clients.
PM: You mentioned a tutorial version. Let’s talk about the additional value for companies.
EP: We create value for business in the HR, marketing and sales departments through play. The game may be implemented in the following sectors: audits, assessment centers, employment branding, soft training complementary training and gamification. We are flexible in implementing it by selecting tasks to fit the diagnosed needs: we perfect communication, create leaders, effectively build relationships, help establish motivation, build teams, discover talents, strengthen the company value. This way we build connections with both the internal and external client. The game’s value is seen by CEOs, managers, corporate employees, medium and small business workers, with an unchanging effect of Wise Strength.
PM: Tell us something about the offer itself. What can we expect from this game?
EP: An intriguing scenario with a large dose of adrenaline, where a certain gadget becomes a magical addition that players will do anything for. The gameplay is moderated by the game masters who also put a smile on the faces of the players, they infect them with their enthusiasm and involvement, and the multitude of mental and agility-based tasks, as well as the unique attractions, help completely immerse the players, providing a solid dose of adrenaline. Everyone can find their talent. They can count on a number of challenges that demand acute intellect, creativity, logical thinking, imagination and cooperation. The players take on specific roles that they
feel great about. By the end they discover that the strength of the team depends on the collection of their unique talents, which builds and motivates them. They also take home small souvenirs and memories they won’t soon forget.
PM: Can participation in the game be described as a means of verifying the abilities of specific employees and their ability to work in a group?
EP: Yes. This type of game is moderated by business coaches. At the end, the participants receive feedback, while the client receives a detailed report based on competence tests.
PM: What about foreign Clients? Can they have as much fun as Polish clients?
EP: On numerous occasions we have run the game in English for managers worldwide – clients of companies like Danfoss. They had a lot of fun and were genuinely surprised by the game’s originality.
PM: Can you let us in on some secrets of the game?
EP: If you could only see the dusty yet radiant faces of bosses, cashiers, salesmen, managers, accountants… These passionate detective playoffs between Agencies of the Diogenes Club, The Circus the Docks; the battle of wits and agility; and then there’s the vehement broomball matches with full sports commentary! And then there are the Houdini Mysteries! They battled for the title of the brightest mind until the final minute. Who would be first to solve the murder mystery, who would get to the key first, who can secure the escape route? Everyone is taken over by a kind of madness – now this is adrenaline!
All this causes the game to grant us satisfaction and motivation to be even better. Is this still just a game?