Puzzles and solving problems are always good ways to train and exercise the brain. With that in mind, it comes to no surprise that escape rooms are feasts for the mind. If you aren’t familiar, an escape room is a game where you are locked inside a room and the only way out is by solving a series of puzzles that would eventually reveal a way to exit the room. These are exciting activities that could be played with friends, family, and co-workers alike.
How Escape Rooms Actually Make You Smarter
Aside from all the fun and laughs, you might actually leave an escape room more than just satisfied – you can potentially leave escape rooms even smarter! Escape rooms like Lockbusters on International Drive can come in all themes and flavors, but they’re essentially the same in how they utilize puzzles that you have to solve using your brain. If you aren’t convinced, here are some ways that escape rooms actually make you smarter.
You Become a Problem Solver
It’s all fun and games when you solve puzzles in an escape room. However, escape rooms can eventually train you to become a better problem solver.
Escape rooms are filled with puzzles that you have to solve to be able to leave the room. Since the point is for you to have fun, escape room designers would often place different kinds of puzzles to avoid monotony since that would risk it becoming boring.
Because of this, your brain has to mentally jump through a few hoops since every is different from the last. You don’t even realize it but your brain is getting a pretty good workout.
How does this make you smarter? Well, wouldn’t you say that a smart person is someone who can solve different problems? By being trained in different types of puzzles in escape rooms, the brain gets a hang of thinking about problems and different ways of solving them. This is why some people feel like they’re detectives when they leave escape rooms.
Your Brain is Rewarded
Why are puzzles fun? Imagine this from the perspective of someone who doesn’t do puzzles. From their perspective, puzzles seem more like tests than they are games. However, puzzles ARE games and they are games where the brain is competing with itself.
One thing that puzzles can provide is happiness – and this is just not figuratively speaking. Solving puzzles release neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain that signal happiness and reward. Coupled with the fact that puzzles can help boost cognitive function, these are the necessary ingredients to make someone smarter without them even realizing it.
While escape rooms are filled with puzzles and brain teasers, they are far from boring. Especially since escape rooms are often themed. How can a zombie-themed escape room be boring? In this setting, the brain knows that the person is having fun. Plus, the person gets to exercise the brain at the same time.
While people leave escape rooms satisfied from all the fun and excitement, they don’t even realize that they just finished a mental workout.
They Force You To Think Differently
One thing that an escape room does amazingly is by having you think differently.
There are times that people get stuck with a certain puzzle in an escape room. Since people are often trying to beat the time, they have to do all the tricks they can to solve puzzles quickly.
One trick is to think differently. Some people bypass this by just having someone else take a look at the puzzle since a new person would have a different perspective, to begin with. Sometimes it just takes someone to think differently about how to approach a puzzle to find out that that puzzle wasn’t even difficult at all.
Thinking differently is one of the hallmarks of being smart. Thinking conventionally involves piecing one piece of information to another. However, when a person thinks differently, they can piece together information in unique ways.
Think of Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking – both are renowned scientists in the field of physics. However, they became significant in their fields not only because of the work they’ve done but because of the ideas they’ve proposed. Einstein thought about time in a way that was different from what his colleagues thought about time. Likewise, Hawking thought about the universe in a different way.
While it doesn’t mean that playing in escape rooms can get someone to become the next Einstein or Hawking, it just means that thinking differently can possibly help someone solve more problems than just the ones in escape rooms.
While escape rooms are puzzles, there’s a big difference between doing an escape room and doing a crossword puzzle: teamwork. In escape rooms, you usually play in groups. And more often than not, these are competitive groups. That means that if you want to beat the escape room in record time, you have to all work together and solve puzzles quickly.
One obstacle that often gets groups to slow down is the lack of collaboration and communication. Some escape rooms are designed to be solved specifically as a team.
This means that not only do escape rooms help train your brain with logic and rational thinking with puzzles, but actually solving the escape room as a team requires you to consider yourself as part of a group instead of an individual. Thus, escape rooms have you training your collaborative skills and perhaps even your leadership skills.
On a resume, these are considered soft skills and there’s a reason why people put these skills there. These skills are highly important when working in the real world because whatever industry you decide to work in, you’re probably going to be working with other people.
Escape rooms are basically rooms filled with puzzles so it should come as no surprise that they can help people become smarter. For a number of reasons as listed above, escape rooms are both fun for a group as they are fun for the brains. Escape rooms can be thought of as mental triathlons as these escape rooms train the brain in more ways than one.