A Reflection on Thanksgiving, War, and Podcasting

Since the early days of Room Escape Artist we’ve given ourselves a little leeway to take a step or two in a non-escape room direction. Usually we use this freedom to get a little silly with content like mystery flavor reviews, animals solving puzzles, or deep dive podcasts about larp design.

Our audience doesn’t just tolerate our journeys into different related realms or silliness… a lot of you seem to enjoy it. This content performs really well. And some of our readers literally ship us mystery flavor products and email us videos of animals solving puzzles.

We love dreaming up new and related places we can take you, and deeply appreciate the freedom that you afford us.

Stylized image of an American Thanksgiving table with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and bread.

Covering Darkness

Our work is usually focused on creations that bring joy, wonder, and entertainment, but when necessary, we’ve proven that we’re able and willing to tackle serious subjects, as we did for the 2019 Polish Escape Room Fire.

Tonight we’re going to release a podcast episode that is one of the most important pieces of work we’ve put out… and it brings us no joy to do so.

The next podcast episode will feature Tasha Tarkhanova, one of the brilliant minds behind Project Avatar. She and her team are Ukrainian. They have been through hell.

In this upcoming episode, we explore game design with Tasha, just as we would any other guest… but we also have some heavy conversations about what the Russian invasion has done to her family and her business.

And yes… they have been running virtual games in spite of the invasion.

The story is painful… and funny… because Tasha is hilarious and has managed to keep her sense of humor in the face of true horror.

Sitting in my warm home, wearing pajamas, and stuffed with Thanksgiving leftovers… I honestly cannot comprehend what Tasha, her family, and her colleagues have endured.

Enjoying Games & Loving People

I’ve long said that I really enjoy escape rooms… but it’s the people that are the reason that I am so committed to this community.

Reality Escape Pod has given us a chance to share some of the incredible people that make all of this worthwhile.

I don’t have an elegant summation here… Lisa and I are just thankful. Thankful for each other, our team, our audience. And we’re thankful for what we aren’t experiencing.

We just placed a significant donation to Ukrainian humanitarian efforts through Direct Relief, my longtime charity of choice because of their incredible efficiency. If you’re able to do so, please consider donating. There are so many crises around the world, and never enough funding to alleviate the suffering.

Thank you!

Thank you to our Patreon backers. This Thanksgiving, we are especially thankful for each of you, and for the support you give us, financially, and as a welcoming and inquisitive community. We love sharing ideas with you and we can’t wait to bring you more podcasting, writing, and events in the new year.

Abi · Kwest Club
Alex Rosenthal
Alexander Gierholz
Alyssa Diaz
Amanda Harris
Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Sturridge
Anna Simon
Anne Lukeman
Austin Reed
Barry Joseph
Ben Enos
Ben Rosner
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brent Mair
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Brian Vinciguerra
Bronna Butler
Byron Delmonico
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Carol King
Catie Catterwaul
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Cody Evans
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Danielle Ladd
Darren Miller
David Longley
Derek Tam
Doug McKenzie
Eliviascape (Pat Toupin)
Eliza Cantlay
Emile Wang
Encrypted Escape
Erich Schultz
Eva Anderson
Evan Broder
Expedition Escape

Farand Pawlak
fRobert Myers
Grant Luecke
Greg Marinelli
Guy Ellis
Haley & Cameron Cooper
Herbert Chan
James Shearer
Jan-Luc Van Damme
Jim Williams
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal
Jonathan Berk
Jonathan Dautrich
Jonathan Driscoll
Joseph Friesen
Josh Kendrick
Joshua Rosenfeld
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Ken Zinn
Kevin Hammonds
Kurt Leinbach
Laura E. Hall
Lee-Fay Low
M. Sean Molley
M&C Saiewitz
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Matthew Stein
Melanie Rice
Michael Andersen
Michael Augustine
Michelle Rundbaken
Mihir Kedia
Mrs Threepwood
Natalie Currie
Nathan Walton
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar
Neil Patrick Harris

Nick Moran
No Proscenium
Oliver Hofmann
Omer Aru
Paul Tashima-Boyd
Paula Swann
Puzzling Company
Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
Ryan Lee
Samantha Koehler
Sarah Zhang
Scott Levy
Scott Olson
Sendil Krishnan
Simon Edwards
Stephen Kowalski
Steve Ewing
Steve Gaddy
Steven Rawlings
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Suta スタ Lin
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Team Bluefish
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Catterwauls
The Escape Room USA
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll
Wil Blount
Will Rutherford

To those of you reading who have the means, we hope you’ll consider joining this wonderful group of supporters.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon, Etsy, or Art of Play after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.

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