Real-life game puts video games to shame


    "Escape" has come to Rhode Island. Once you get there, it’s all about how to get out. (WJAR)

    If you're one of those people that loves to play games on your computer, but find you are missing the real-life face-to-face interaction, there's help.

    "Escape" has come to Rhode Island. Once you get there, it's all about how to get out.

    There's a new game in town, the first of its kind in the Ocean State, tucked away in a historic building on South Main Street in Providence.

    You know you're there when you see the key that, once you play, will unlock your gaming experience.

    "It's a nighttime activity. Instead of coming to a bar, you can come here. Some people might go to the movies, some people might go to an escape room," said Ethan Carlson, one of the co-founders of Escape Rhode Island.

    It's for all ages, students, friends, families, even for corporate team-building.

    You're locked in a room with anywhere from one person, to as many as 11 others. By solving clues and puzzles, you have 60 minutes to escape. And the clock is ticking.

    "Visual, aural, tactile, totally immersive. What you're actually going to be doing in that hour varies based on what game, what scenario you play," said Carlson.

    For example, "in the gallery you're trying to find why a local artist is missing." In the study, a library-like room, a reclusive billionaire is missing. You've hacked the security codes, and you're rummaging through all of his personal effects.

    "You have an hour before the cops arrive," said Carlson.

    What's great about this game: it gets people to interact socially, three dimensionally, with other people, in a venue, instead of alone, by themselves, in front of their own computer screens at home.

    "Over the last decade or two, we've been moving behind screens and this is bringing things back into the real world," said Carlson.

    Opening night is Thursday. The cost is $25 per person. There are discounts, and some game times are already booked through January.

    Learn more here.

    The escape game started in Eastern Europe in 2007, and is now, with competing companies, sweeping the United States. It's a game that will get you away from the virtual world, back into the real world, on challenge at a time.

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