Home CommentaryStudent Life Break-free from stress in an alternate world

Break-free from stress in an alternate world

by Kelsey Litwin September 15, 2015
Break-free from stress in an alternate world

Montreal escape games will have you immersed in another universe

Has the first week of school already got you down? Are course outlines causing the stress to start building up?

Me too, buddy. Me too.

Photo from Echappe-Toi Montréal.

Photo from Echappe-Toi Montréal.

There is no need to fret just yet. There is an answer to your premature prayers: being locked in a room with five friends and just an hour to escape.

Well, sort of…

Since the fall of 2014, Escape Room game centres have been popping up in every corner of Montreal. The idea is to challenge players by placing them in a locked room, forcing them to use their wits and the limited resources provided to them to escape within the time limit.

Each centre offers their own spin on the concept, providing the players with their choice of claustrophobic scenario. Whether they’re in the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or a local hockey locker room, players are presented with a scenario that traps them until they complete the puzzles that will unlock the door.

When Échappe-Toi Montréal opened its doors in October 2014, the entrepreneurs behind Montreal’s first immersive Escape Room game saw the opportunity to use the popular concept for corporate team-building.

“It’s a different way of doing things,” said Arturo Rivero, an Échappe-Toi spokesperson. The skills that are exercised during the games, such as leadership, communication and problem solving, can be directly transferred into business settings, making it extremely attractive to HR departments. “That’s why we have such a big [corporate] clientele.”

These training opportunities aren’t limited to corporate bigshots hoping to improve the cohesiveness of their team. Rivero specified that the skills that an individual can pick up in such a situation can be beneficial to just about anyone. “The skills are there, and sometimes people don’t know it.”

Rivero continued to explain that the opportunity to be completely immersed in a challenging situation forces us to put on our thinking caps and get our creative juices flowing, encouraging us to think outside of the box—both in the game and out. “This is an experience that, if you want to or not, will take your mind off of whatever you’re thinking [about],” he said. “You have to concentrate.”

This is why Échappe-Toi advertises their games as a way of learning to manage stress. “It happens all across the board,” Rivero said. “You’re doing your job and you get so focused that it makes it hard for you to concentrate on something else.” By encouraging critical thinking, problem solving and interpersonal communication, Escape Room games might even show you a new way to tackle a problem that you’ve been facing. “Sometimes,” continued

Rivero, “you get so focused that it’s hard to think of a new answer, a new way of doing things.”

Next time you look at that to-do list and are feeling a little overwhelmed, it might be time to consider something other than a yoga class to blow off some steam. After all, as Rivero said, “we’re all up for a challenge every once and awhile.”

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