Between 2014 and 2018, the number of escape rooms in the US blossomed from a mere 24 to over 2,300. More and more Americans are finding delight in the puzzles, teamwork, and safe but palpable pressure of solving an escape room’s mystery.
Did you know that escape games are more than just a fun way to pass the time on an evening or weekend afternoon? In fact, escape games have some seriously brain-boosting effects that we’re starting to understand a little better.
That means that if you’re looking for an excuse to indulge in an escape game (like you need an excuse!), you’re about to find several.
Read on for seven positive effects that escape games have on the mind, boosting both brain power and mental health.
1. Escape Games Help You See the Forest
When you’re trying to solve the mystery in an escape room, you’re asked to find clues and solve puzzles that lead to a bigger answer. This requires you to take small details and use them to make sense of the bigger picture.
This is a major benefit for both your work life and your everyday life. Being able to see the big picture in the face of small details can help you manage projects, reach goals, and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the day-to-day.
2. Escape Games Help You See the Trees
Of course, the inverse is also true. If you’re already a big-picture thinker, you may need to sharpen your attention to detail. After all, it’s hard to achieve bigger goals if you can’t see the incremental goals you’ll need to meet in order to get there.
With each clue you’re asked to find, you’re required to focus on the smaller details. This is true both spatially, as you hunt through the room in search of a specific object, and cognitively, as you figure out how each clue leads to the next in order to solve the mystery.
3. Escape Games Boost Communication Skills
Whether you’re playing online–like this escape room Gatlinburg offers–or playing in person, escape games put a huge emphasis on teamwork. It’s no wonder that escape rooms are a popular choice for offices, clubs, and other groups that require strong communication between team members in order to function.
When you head into an escape game, working alone isn’t the best way to get to the end. In fact, it’s almost impossible to split off from your group and still expect to solve the mystery. The best way to solve the escape game mystery is to communicate what you’re doing, what you’ve found, and what the next step should be.
4. Escape Games Enhance Your Ability to Problem-Solve
Escape game creators are constantly looking for new ways to challenge the brain. Whether you’re solving a riddle or completing a physical puzzle, you have to stay focused and think outside of the box to find answers.
In this way, escape games can help break us out of our current problem-solving ruts. It’s easy to get into a pattern when it comes to facing life’s challenges, and that pattern doesn’t always lead to positive solutions. By looking for new ways to meet challenges in an escape room setting, you can find new ways to meet challenges out in the real world–and gain the confidence you need to rely on your problem-solving skills.
5. Escape Games Can Help You Develop Better Time Management
If you’ve never played an escape game before, you may not know one of the most important details that make all of the other skills we’ve mentioned here even more important: escape games are timed.
Most of the time, you and your team have one hour to find all the clues, solve all of the puzzles, and break out of the room. It’s easy to let that ticking clock make you feel a little panicked. However, staying calm under pressure is important if you want to solve the mystery–and an important lesson in time management.
6. Escape Games Provide Moderate-Intensity Exercise
Did you know that moderate-intensity exercise leads to better memory and clearer thinking? That’s right, boosting your heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day has been proven to improve your brain’s basic functioning.
Heading to an escape room isn’t exactly like hitting the track for a mile run, but it’s pretty likely that you’ll get that heart pumping! Remember, you’ve got one hour to find your clues and solve your puzzles. This elicits excitement and it also gets you moving around the room quickly–both of which will help you boost your heart rate and, in turn, your brainpower.
7. Escape Games Can Lift Your Overall Mood
Ultimately, playing an escape game is a rewarding experience that can lift your overall mood. It provides an outlet through which we can connect with other people. Finding clues and solving puzzles creates that immediate, serotonin-releasing sense of confidence.
Best of all is that we get to share our joy and sense of accomplishment with others. Escape games are growing in popularity because they’re exciting and most players walk away feeling happy. Having that kind of mood boost is an important part of regulating our feelings and creating positive mental health.
Want a Brain Boost? Head to an Escape Room
Escape games aren’t just a great way to pass your time and blow off steam. They also have some seriously positive effects on the brain which translate into your day-to-day life. If you’re looking for a powerful and enjoyable brain boost, head to an escape room ASAP!
Looking for more information about the latest gaming news and gaming psychology? Take a look around and find out how gaming is evolving and how it does more for us than create a pleasant, boredom-busting experience.