What other verb would you relate to “learning”?
I bet most of you would say “studying” automatically and it’s normal, studying is the way we acquire most of the knowledge we have. However, from our earliest childhood, before we even know what it is to study or to read, most of what we learn we do it in the most natural and fun way: by playing 😀
Psychomotor, social and even linguistic and mathematical skills that we assimilate with no effort and without being fully aware. And the same happens when we keep playing throughout our lives: when we challenge ourselves in a video game we improve our strategy and coordinate our movements better, when we measure ourselves against other players in a board game we are able to better evaluate our own competence and we see in others what can make us improve.
The Escape Rooms gather several of the most relevant elements that we see in other games: it is a mental challenge, it takes place in a physical spatial context and we interact with other people, which facilitate the simultaneous development of several of our intelligences.
The first thing we do in an Escape Room is exploring everything in the room. There will be many objects that we will pile on a central surface for later examination but there will be others that are fixed, such as padlocks, paintings, things written on the walls, etc. so in many moments of the game we will see ourselves exercising our visual and spatial memory – where is the clue that goes with this? – to be able to connect the different objects in the shortest time possible.
In almost all escape games there are mathematical tests: count the number of occurrences of something, make simple operations, geometric puzzles… that sometimes make us regret not having been more attentive in class when we could. However, logical tests are pretty much everywhere, so we will be constantly trying to understand what is the relationship between clues and locks, what possible uses each object can have and whether our ideas and suggestions make sense. In my personal experience, this is the intelligence that I notice improving most by playing Escape Rooms.
This is what we activate precisely when the logic of things escapes us. We have already tried the solutions that seemed most feasible and still we have not come up with the solution. And now what? Well now it’s time to be creative and pull lateral thinking. “Thinking outside the box” in English.
In Escape Rooms there will be times in which we will have to consider multiple approaches to the same problems and relate things that might not seem to be related at all. When we are thinking what else can we try, what is missing, we will be training our creativity.
Sometimes we will find encoded texts and enigmatic instructions that we will have to decipher. Both in this type of tests and in all those in which we have to gather information and communicate it to the team, we will practice our linguistic intelligence. After playing several rooms, there will be no code that can resist us!
Emotional, interpersonal and collaborative intelligence
I group these three types because they are the ones that typically develop when working as a team, which is fundamental in all Escape Room.
When we find ourselves locked in an unknown space and feeling the pressure of time some of us can behave in a very different way than we would do in “real life”. In these cases, group dynamics can be a challenge to develop these intelligences and we can exercise them in many different ways: by making sure that everyone is participating and having fun, asking for help, communicating, etc.
It is because of these intelligences that more and more companies hire Escape Rooms for their teambuilding activities, since by playing together workers learn to cooperate and understand each other much better than in any office. In addition, in these dynamics it is also easy to identify those people with natural leadership, those who become disrespectful under pressure or those who tend to get stuck or let others do the work.
Have you thought about what intelligences you could improve through escapism? Have you already noticed any positive changes by playing rooms? Don’t be shy and tell us about it in the comments.
In my case, I must confess that teamworking is still hard for me because I get too excited and I want to do everything. Good thing they know how to stop me … XD
That’s all falks! Good luck in the rooms!