Video intros: Some escape games have them; most don’t.
Should they be more common?
The pregame message is important:
It includes safety instructions and sets the boundaries of play. At worst, players who don’t understand these instructions will get hurt. But more often, they simply won’t have fun… And they’ll probably break stuff.
The pregame message also introduces the story for the game (if there is one), and it eases the players into the immersive experience.
Should a game open with a video?
Yes: the case for videos
We focus when a video plays; we stop talking, stop fiddling, and pay attention. As long the video doesn’t contain airplane safety instructions, videos effectively convey information. Videos standardize information regardless of locations and staff members.
No: the case for human interaction
We experience increasingly few personal interactions, but a real-life, not-in-front-of-a-computer game demands human contact. A personal introduction conveys enthusiasm and passion, and establishes a personal connection.
Video intro guidelines
A successful video introduction should be the professionally edited quality that we’ve come to expect from our screens… However it should never be the high point of the game. If your video intro is cooler than the experience, then you’ve made a terrible mistake.
Ultimately, an escape game allows players to experience a different world; a room escape is about physical interaction, mental engagement, and human contact.
Either form of introduction is the teaser not the experience. Choose what fits.