Escape the room puzzle games are on TV and movie screens everywhere. So, from the perspective of an escape room game designer and owner, how well are they portrayed?
By now, it feels like every sitcom has shoved their characters into an escape room, for better or worse.
As a creator of award-winning escape rooms, I’m very interested in their influence on popular culture. I’m currently documenting rooms shown in television shows and in films, their puzzles and game flow, and how these games are used to advance the show’s narrative, and showcase character dynamics and development.
So far, I’ve covered:
- The Rookie (ABC, s01e08, “Time of Death”)
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, s03e14, “Karen Peralta”)
- Portlandia (IFC, S08e03, “No Thank You”)
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Hasbro, s07e02, “All Bottled Up”)
- 2 Broke Girls (s05e05, “And the Escape Room”)
- Schitt’s Creek (s06e11, “Escape Room”)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (s04e04, “I’m Making Up for Lost Time”)
- Coming soon: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (s13e02, “The Gang Escapes”)
- Coming soon: Escape Room (2019)
Want to learn more about how to play escape rooms and the history of the immersive entertainment industry? My new book, Planning Your Escape: Strategy Secrets to Make You an Escape Room Superstar, is available now for pre-order!
L. E. Hall is an artist, writer, puzzle-maker, immersive environment and narrative designer living in Portland, Oregon. Her work focuses on the intersections between arts, culture, and technology, especially in gaming.
She is the founder of puzzle, game, and experience design company Timberview Productions, founder of Portland’s first escape the room game company, the award-winning Meridian Adventure Co., and the author of Katamari Damacy for Boss Fight Books and Planning Your Escape for Simon and Schuster’s Tiller Press. She proudly serves on the board of the Portland Indie Game Squad (PIGSquad), a non-profit organization supporting indie game development and community in Portland. Find her work online and on Twitter.