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When You're Booked with Someone You Don't Know

When You're Booked with Someone You Don't Know

Maybe you and a friend decided that you'd like to try out this new fad called escape room games over the weekend. You found yourselves a great-looking adventure, which isn't at the end of the world, and you used their booking system to reserve your place for the Sunday afternoon. So you might be surprised to find on arrival that you will be sharing your escape room game with four other strangers. It's not unreasonable to ask, "how can this happen?"

The first thing that you have to keep in mind is that escape rooms only have a certain amount of space. They all will have an "open booking system", which is designed to fill any open slots in any booking. Look at it like booking a table in a restaurant. They don't have just the one table for you, if so then they would go out of business pretty quickly. So yes, it means that you're going to be playing with people you don't know. We can understand if you might be nervous about being locked in a room with a few strangers. But there's another way of looking at this situation. Rather than see it as a problem, why not look at it as if it were part of the whole new escape room experience. 

It's a natural feeling that we want to be in control of our own lives. We like the possibility of choosing for ourselves. But the reality is that most of our choices are not our own, we just rationalize the life so that we can feel freer than reality. You might say you chose to take the bus to work at 9 am. But if you didn't hurry to be there on time, then you would miss it. The bus company chooses the time for you. Most of the decisions you make about your daily life are in fact, decided by others. Most people have been taking the blue pill their whole lives and so don't question the status quo until something goes amiss. Like being booked with strangers for your escape room adventure. It's like a glitch in the Matrix!

Escape room games will need to be approached with an open mind in order to recognize all the puzzles and hidden clues. You'll find yourself in totally alien scenarios and have to construct a new reality using logic and your imagination. So, though you will not know half your teammates on a personal level, it serves of no consequence within the escape room situation. If you're open-minded enough to be able to solve an escape room game, then you'll be open enough to see that getting along with everyone is in your interest in order to complete the game.

As making your way out is so tied up with sharing details, then communication is key. And part and parcel of communication is listening. Because these other people sharing your escape room are strangers, then that will make you listen twice as hard. It's a salient fact that we take greater care of what strangers say, than those we are familiar with. Close friends are less likely to respect or genuinely listen to what you have to say, simply because they are already familiar and comfortable around you. As listening and communication in general are so important within the game structure, you'll find yourselves paying greater attention to each other, simply by fault of you all being strangers. You may well find that the game is even more immersive because you're paying that much greater attention as to what's going on.  

As they say, "every stranger is a friend in waiting." Just because you might not know  the other people sharing your escape room game day, doesn't mean it's the end of the world. If you look at it from another angle, it could mean a chance to make new friends after you've all bonded over a shared and exciting experience. In our time booking thousands of games, we have found that those "double booked" with strangers have just as good a time as those who weren't. How the groups were composed had zero effect on whether or not they had an enjoyable time. In fact, everyone who completed the games were ready to jump right back into another one. 

So, if you find yourself booked with other people you don't know, look upon it as another escape room challenge. Introduce yourself and go into the room with a winning attitude. Remain positive and optimistic and within a few minutes you'll have the start of a great friendship. Remember that you're all there to have fun. Keep that fact as your primary goal and you'll have a blast!

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