Epilogue: My role (when) playing

I'm sure my definitions vary wildly from how these icons are intended to be used

I’m sure my definitions vary wildly from how these icons are intended to be used

Following my first ever escape game, and record-breaking time, our gamemaster said she’d never seen anyone see through or solve the puzzles faster than me. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet so waited at least 30 minutes before ‘announcing’ this on Facebook. Since then (and I’m sure in part due to my greater experience) my team-mates have often looked to me as some sort of expert and guide. I never really thought this was justified, but after our Secret Lab escape I’m now sure it isn’t.

Selena was playing her first escape room. She’d already made some good contributions in the first half of the game whilst finding her feet. But in the second half she established herself as a key part of the team. We were faced with a multi-part puzzle. I made a fairly straightforward discovery but was stumped on what to do next. Then Selena solved all of it. Not just the next bit, but the whole thing. And I can assure you it was far from straightforward. Some inspired thinking.

Hayley had already impressed me in previous games with her analytical and mathematical mind. In this game she broke a puzzle. And I don’t mean she knocked it off a shelf. I mean she mentally deconstructed it, saw how it worked, and solved it in a way other than how was intended. She may even have surprised herself as she doubted the answer at first. My role was to encourage her to try it, and it was indeed correct.

I already knew that puzzles with ambiguities stressed me out. I like to think my mind is quite logical and systematic so being asked to tell the difference between turquoisey-blue and turquoise makes me uncomfortable (some of you know what I’m talking about). There was a similar problem here with matching symbols and shapes. While I fretted and fumbled to try and turn it into some sort of system, Katie took control and said “Look, I’m pretty sure it’s this” and was right. Beauty from chaos.

Nina is the doer of the group. Sometimes she’s happy to sit back and let the rest of us debate and discuss for a while, during which time she’ll be off investigating elsewhere or positioning herself to input our guesses/answers. At one point I questioned why she wasn’t entering what we were suggesting. I took control and promptly found out that our answer couldn’t be right because it wasn’t possible to enter it. I’ll know to trust her next time.

So that leaves me, doing a bit here and there, contributing to the group, but often looking on in wide-eyed amazement. No individual accolades but part of a great team. And I’m just fine with that.

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