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There is one question that I am consistently asked whenever I tell someone I’m an escape room host. That question is: “So, do you like, watch us?” And the answer to that question: yes, yes, we do watch you. We have to. Otherwise, we don’t know what’s happening. We wouldn’t be able to provide clues when needed, laugh with you when fun things happen, or cheer for you when you figure something out. We wouldn’t be able to facepalm appropriately when you do something silly. Today I am going to pull the curtain back just a peek so you can see what it’s like to be a host for Escape Games Live.

Let’s Unpack Some Curiosity

Most people say something to the effect of “What’s it like watching us?” or “Must be fun to watch us play.” As you might expect, it’s fun and it’s also an exercise in being ready for the unexpected. Hosts have to be ready for anything from really fast players to those making up their own creative solutions, and even someone trying to unlock an electrical outlet. It’s exciting because even though the game always has the same puzzles, it’s never played the same. As hosts we laugh, we smooth out any miscommunication between us and the players and we share in the triumph and frustrations of the group. 

Your goal is to escape the room within a certain amount of time, solving everything in the room. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for you to do that without giving away direct answers by providing you with hints when you get stuck on things. Because we want you to have a unique experience, offer hints as needed to tailor them to your experience. Escape Games Live is lucky enough to have some truly creative people working for us.

It’s Moments Like These That Make It Fun

I have been hosting rooms since January of 2016 and have seen several things in the rooms that I never expected. As I am sure you are dying to hear this, I will give you a few examples of things I have witnessed over time. In our Precinct room, for example, I watched a family of five enter the room and begin their game. While doing their initial search the husband took the wife’s purse off of the window sill and begin laying everything in it out. He commented that the purse had a lot in common with his wife’s purse. She put her hand over her face and groaned “That’s because it IS my purse!”. Oops.

One of my favorite things I witnessed was when an eleven-year-old boy found a key in one of our rooms that opened a drawer. The mother and father were tearing the room up to find the key and the boy was just quietly following them around with the key in his hand, not saying anything. They had looked everywhere and were approaching frustration when the dad asked him if he had seen anything. He held out his hand with the key in it and said: “yeah, I have it here.” Dad took the key and moved to the drawer, then asked why he didn’t say anything about the key earlier. The boy responded with “Well you and mom were talking and I didn’t want to interrupt you.” Truly priceless.

Fun moments aside, what I want you to take away is that hosts don’t ever want you to get to a level of frustration where you aren’t enjoying yourself. This is entertainment at the end of the day. Whether it takes a few clues thrown in or just a little encouragement, it’s all about the player solving something on their own (or with a little nudge). So yes, we will let you struggle, but I don’t want you thinking that we are sitting in a room watching the monitor gleefully cackling at you while you struggle. Nor do we unleash flying monkeys to rain terror upon the land. That would be the Wicked Witch of the West.

So yes, we watch you. We watch and listen to everything you are doing because if we didn’t you wouldn’t have nearly as much fun as you do without us paying attention. As always, if you haven’t tried out one of our Lemoyne or York escape games, come see us! And find out it’s just as much fun as everyone said it would be.

James Kirk

Yes, his real name is James Kirk. No, his middle name is not Tiberias.
James is a super nerd that has been playing games at a table or on a screen or with the sanity of others since he was about 6 years old. Some time may or may not have passed since then. James has been hosting Escape Rooms for over two years and also manages both locations for Escape Games Live as the GM. He has also played numerous escape rooms and has learned much through personal experience watching and playing rooms. In his time away from work he enjoys life with his wife and daughter as well as volunteering time with The Bodhana Group, which is a local organization that uses tabletop gaming as a form of adjunct therapy for those in need of their services, helping to develop critical thinking, planning and strategy, social skills and building self-esteem and identity by exploring each individual’s “character”. He is a fan of all things nerd which is good because his name would be a waste otherwise.
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