Over a month ago I watched this John Green video where he posed the question, “Why are humans suddenly getting better at Tetris?”
It’s an interesting question because Tetris has been in the United States since 1989 and as of April 2014, it had sold more than 495 million copies. This is a landmark game – one of the most popular of all time – and recently all sorts of Tetris records keep getting broken.
Two unrelated concepts jumped out at me watching this video:
- Online community
- The staying power of puzzles
As much as I enjoy playing escape games, I love the people I’ve met through these games even more, both online and in real life.
When I think about the online escape room community, I think about the escape room slack.
We’ve found our tribe among this group. I’ve learned so much from our ongoing dialogue. The richness of conversations between players and creators alike makes us all better.
While the conversations are all over the place, if I want to have a meaningful conversation as I work through ideas about playing, reviewing, or designing, this is where I go.
It’s also where I go when I need to learn how to attack a puzzle that is beyond my current skill level. Someone there always knows how to do it.
The Staying Power of Puzzles
People frequently ask us if escape rooms are a fad that will evaporate. When I ponder the question, I think about all of the other puzzles that I’m sure were viewed as fads.
People love puzzles. Puzzles have a depth and lifecycle that seems to exceed so many other pastimes.
Crosswords, Sudoku, Rubik’s Cubes, and Tetris all stuck around. They’ve evolved, but they continue to maintain their audience.
Even disregarding video games that are specifically puzzles, there’s an incredible number of games that work puzzle-play into the mechanics. That isn’t an accident. Puzzles are compelling content.