Family Time Unplugged
While attending a play in a sold out New York City theater last week, I was struck by the sight of a family of six settling down into their seats a good fifteen minutes prior to curtain. No sooner did they get comfortable than they each whipped out their phones and began playing games. Not a word was spoken. The playbills remained untouched. And worse yet, they weren’t even playing against each other in the same game in some sort of competitive camaraderie. They were each engrossed in different distractions which I could observe clearly from my vantage point, making their time together anything but. I couldn’t help but marvel at this display. After all, one of the everlasting charms of live performance is the fact that it is live and doesn’t require a screen for viewing. This makes the experience for even the most regular theatergoers a treat- an idea totally lost on this plugged-in group.
In today’s digital age, we find ourselves tethered to our phones for work and as the primary tool to navigate through our daily routines and social lives. “Checking our phones” has become second nature and is done without thinking like breathing or getting in the recommended daily eight servings of water.
Turning off our phones for a couple hours should be considered a blissful escape especially when you consider how much time we spend staring at those screens. According to digital analytics firm Flurry, as of late 2014, people with access to a smartphone or a tablet were spending an average of 2 hours and 57 minutes on them.
It’s easy to see how this digital dependence has shifted into becoming the norm. Besides the addiction of gaming apps, compulsively making sure new notifications haven’t gone, well, unnoticed, appears to be the only way to combat FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out- the tongue-in-cheek name given to the modern day is-the-grass-greener syndrome.
This is where live escape games come in. Talk about a great activity for family and friends seeking quality time. (Even for those video game obsessed families like the one at the theater since the origin of live escape games actually lies in the digital gaming realm.) Escape games are an interactive form of entertainment, a way to bond and the ideal opportunity to unplug for up to an hour, giving your digital footprint a much needed break from creating impressions. In fact, unplugging is required as players find themselves with only their wits and that of their teammates to rely on. Whether you book a game for your immediate family or gather your extended family for an overdue visit or rally your friends, the fact that you have to communicate and work together in order to make it out of the room in time guarantees a unique memory.
Escape Entertainment was designed with large groups in mind so the venue can comfortably host even the biggest gatherings. From family reunions and birthdays to anniversaries and graduations, Escape Entertainment has played a key role in celebrating milestones and bringing families and friends together for pure fun. The fact that escape games also cause people to get to know each other in a different light as everyone’s strengths are utilized in the attempt for victory only makes the time spent together that much more memorable.
Topping off the experience is a souvenir group photo opp following each game – the perfect way to commemorate that time you were locked together in a room and did your best to escape.
And best of all, it’s guaranteed to quell that case of FOMO- at least for one afternoon or evening!