A team building exercise is an important part of bonding with coworkers or teammates, so you’ll need an activity that incites critical thinking, coordination, communication, and collaboration. Usually all of these aspects are incorporated in a video game, but since most video games are played online, these virtues become a bit twisted.
There is constant bickering among teammates, the internet connection can obstruct communication, and with the absence of real faces, there is also an absence of empathy. People who play games together behave quite differently when there is a real person right next to them.
Lately, it has become somewhat of a trend for co-workers to visit so-called “escape the room” places, as part of their team building exercise. This trend started to spread like wildfire, so more and more escape the room places started to pop up all across the globe. In the city of Atlanta, you can find some of the best room escape experiences with a variety of different themes.
So, if you are ever in Atlanta with your friends, make sure you pay a visit to one of these venues, or if you are looking for ice breaker activities for your team of employees, Atlanta is your best option. The following article will give you all the ins and outs of this new trend and elaborate why it reflects positively on team building.
Fun background facts
Room escape games emerged as a subgenre of point-and-click adventure games. In point-and-click adventures, the player is required to solve a series of puzzles, and find the essential items in order to beat the game, or in this case, find an exit from a room or facility. PC and console games that bear great resemblance to the room escape experience we have today are Myst and Zero Escape: Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Nine Hours (999). It was only a matter of time before someone sat down and decided to turn those video games into a real-life experience.
How it works
This is a live, group escape experience and the rules are pretty simple. You, as a group, are put in a room and you have one hour to find a key that will make your escape possible. Clearly, this key is not under a rug, so that you can stumble upon it by accident. It can only be reached if you manage to solve a series of puzzles. So, your group needs to investigate and find all of the pieces and figure out how they fit together.
As you progress, you will see how solved puzzles fit into an even larger puzzle. Brain teasers that hold codes will allow you to access different compartments of the room. Finally, once you manage to overcome all of the obstacles and puzzles working side by side with your teammates, you get to the last key that leads to your escape.
It’s worth mentioning that you are not completely alone with your friends. There is another person in the room who will let you out, in case you do not solve all the puzzles in time. Furthermore these observers will occasionally give you cryptic hints, just to nudge you in the right direction.
Even though there is no severe punishment for failure, and you do get a bit of help, these will still be hard puzzles to solve. Room escape games in Atlanta are crafted by experts, and you will need to put your heads together and work fast if you are to emerge victorious. Every second counts in these games, and the majority of groups who try them out usually fail.
Still, it’s why these games are so engaging. They make you think hard and every solution is a rewarding experience for the whole team, even if you don’t manage to solve everything in time.
The benefits of escape the room experience
The design of the puzzles and the design of the whole experience is an extremely good form of team building exercise. Something wonderful happens when you take games like Myst and 999 and turn them into a real-life experience. When, instead of NPCs, you need to interact with real people, and most importantly, the people you know.
You turn a video game that relies on raw logic into a collaborative experience that is really engaging. Sure, one part of the game is pure logic and puzzle solving, but what’s really stressed here is the ability of your team to communicate and to be coordinated.
Teamwork is an essential part of these games and the real beauty of them is that you are far more likely to win with coordinated average puzzles solvers, than with uncoordinated puzzle solving masters. In other words, if you are not a team player, you become toxic for other teammates and you will drag them down. The experience warrants this team oriented mindset, which is why it’s one of the best team building exercises ever created.
How the game’s mechanics roll out to human dynamics
There are three parts of the escape experience: finding the clues, assembling the clues, and using them to solve puzzles. When the challenge is broken down to these three categories, the game becomes accessible to all sorts of players. There are people who do not like raw brain teasers and puzzles, but if they like to explore and investigate, they can be a crucial part of the team, and every time they find a hidden clue, they will feel like a hero.
You also need good coordinators; people who will organize teammates, make sure that the same puzzle is not being solved by two different teams, to make sure the right clues are going to the corresponding puzzle solving team and to keep the information flowing back and forth between the groups.
Finally, you have the puzzle solvers, and puzzles are so diverse in room escape games that you will be blown away. There are word puzzles, mathematical problems, logical puzzles and special puzzles. The designers of the room in Atlanta have really gone out of their way to craft all sorts of brain teasers, which makes the whole experience rewarding for everybody.
One of the main reasons why the Atlanta quest room is so likable, is because it requires you to have people with diverse skill sets, which is basically the same as any company or business. If everyone is able to feel valuable and appreciated for their strengths and if you are able to adequately synergize with your teammates, you will successfully find an exit.
The reason why all of this is fascinating is because you get to observe your teammates and get to know yourself a little bit better. Since there is a timer, everyone can’t help but feel pressured, which makes it a bit difficult to come up with a perfect tactic immediately. So, you will see how your team works, where the communication breaks down, and what style of communication works better with your team. You will also see whether your team members have realistic views of what they are good at or not.
Maybe there are people who think that they are good coordinators, but in reality, they don’t have a clue. Everything will be made clear; who works better in groups, who works better alone, who shares the same mindset, etc. In other words, everything you learn here can be translated outside, which gives you more insight into how to approach and fully utilize your team.
The reasons to give it a go
First of all, it’s a fresh approach to whole team building exercise issue, and so far, people have responded to it in a positive manner. Furthermore, if your team is relatively new and are still a bit uptight, this will be a perfect bonding experience. It will allow people to get to know one another, and to see what would be their ideal position in your company (project manager, client manager, tech support designer, creative writer, etc.). It is a perfect ice breaker for newly formed teams and you are very likely to make a habit out of it, since it’s insightful and entertaining at the same time.
These activities are not only limited to co-workers. You can go with friends or family members as well. As mentioned, it’s an eye-opening experience that offers additional perspective on how you see the people around you, as well as yourself. Plus, once you are done, you all take a picture together, to have a fond memory. Lastly, it is one more good reason to visit Atlanta, since all of their escape the room games are so well crafted.
So many choices
For all of those interested in these ice breaker bonding experiences, you’ll be glad to hear that there are many different room escape themes in Atlanta you can choose from. Plus, these rooms have different difficulty levels, so in case you become an escape the room enthusiast, there will be plenty of opportunities to hone your skills. Here are some of the best rooms you should try out:
Zombie Apocalypse– a medium difficulty challenge with an amazing setting. You are zombie apocalypse survivors and you are a team of Special Forces operatives, assembled to break into a government research facility. You need to solve the puzzles and save the world from falling even further into the jaws of the apocalypse.
Infection – a challenge that is classified as medium difficulty, with an only 38% success rate. Here, you are a group of journalists who are after the truth. You need to uncover what caused the infection that had spread on a global scale. However, you need to be really good if you want to come back alive. After all, you know what they say – curiosity killed the cat.
Murder Mystery –hard challenge, but it’s so much fun, since the setting is quite imaginative. You use a state of the art device to enter the dreamscape of the victim’s final moments. While you are in their memory, you need to find the person responsible for the crime, very similar to the movie “Source Code” if you have seen it. People really loved this room escape experience, so it is recommended that you try it out, despite its difficulty level.
So, if you love post-apocalyptic zombie settings like the Walking Dead, or if you love Sci-Fi themes where you use advanced technology to solve puzzling crimes, and if you have friends, family members or coworkers with the same passion, make sure you pay Atlanta a visit and try some of their epic quest room experiences.
To sum up, these activates are something you can really benefit from as an individual and as a team. You will have a fun time and you’ll definitely come back for more. It is an experience that has such a wide scope of options that no one will feel left out or useless. It’s an awesome ice breaker, and it will be 60 minutes of your life that you will never forget.
It can be really useful, since it can serve as a social compass at work. You will learn how to function as a team, you will know if you would survive a zombie apocalypse if it ever happens, and you’ll see yourself from an entirely different perspective. It’s insightful, engaging, and it would be a real shame to miss out on such an experience.