The Blacklight Mistake [Meme]

A massive eraser labeled, "For BIG Mistakes," erasing a handheld blacklight.

Can please we move beyond handheld blacklights?


  1. I will admit they are most often poorly utilized by escape room “designers”. Let’s stop requiring the use of a handheld unit on its last gasp with low batteries and having to sweep the whole room in 6 inch swaths to find some small clue. However, they are cool when properly charged and involved in a micro-search. Making them part of your adventurer’s toolkit/napsack (blacklight, decoder wheel, map/run book, compass, magnifying glass and simple voltmeter) can be fun.

    If I could get my mitts on the giant eraser I would use it on Pigpen cyphers and its cousin cypher for which I can’t recall its name.

  2. I’d certainly like to move beyond poorly clued blacklights but I believe they still serve as a great introductory ‘A-HA!’ moment for new players. Escape rooms are for more than just the enthusiasts who have “been there, done that” and we shouldn’t be so quick to deny new players the same excitement we once felt the first time we experienced this magic moment.
    I think another way to reframe this frustration is to ask, can we find better ways to clue WHERE or WHY we need to use a handheld blacklight. I do agree that being expected to scan the entire room to guess where a clue might be is poor game design and needs to stop but a blacklight is still a good tool with a specific purpose but most game designers don’t seem to know how, why or when to use them logically.

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