Reading this title may make people wonder how escape rooms can actually make them smarter. There is no teacher that stands at the front of the room with a lesson plan to learn. Yet, the many elements that make an escape room what it is can very well make a player intellectually smart, as well as collaboratively smart.
Working Out Our Brain
The brain is a muscle. Like any other muscle, it needs to be worked out to gain strength, grow and have better flexibility to new challenges. It is easy to think of how external muscles are worked through weights and training. How can a muscle inside of your skull go through a workout? The answer is puzzles. Lots of them!
The Science Behind Puzzles
When solving different riddles and puzzles in an escape room, both lobes of the brain are required to complete these tasks. The left side of the brain specializes in analytical and logical thinking. The right side of the brain focuses on creativity. The collaborative efforts of both sides of the brain essentially keep the mind active and attentive to the environment. Along with that, completing different tasks that an escape room can present to a player brings the individuals to a new state of mind. The mind – in a state of awake awareness – is in the Beta phase. These mind-testing riddles elevate your mind into an Alpha phase – which is known as the phase that occurs while dreaming.
So What? What Does This Mean?
Well, when the brain goes into a different level of consciousness and is able to work both lobes, the brain itself becomes stronger. As said before, the brain get its’ exercise from doing the tasks within an escape room. The neural receptors that send messages around the brain are highly engaged. When the brain is working hard, a chemical known as dopamine is released. Dopamine is responsible for learning and memory, which are big elements of what would be considered something that makes a person “smart”.
How This Applies to Teamwork
Not only that, but participating in escape rooms help to foster better collaborative intelligence. Whether it be with your coworkers, best friends or even strangers, escape rooms put players into the position of both leadership and teamwork. It helps players better understand and learn how they can place themselves within a leadership role, as well as take a step back and follow directions from another leader.
They always say that practice makes perfect. Why not keep up the active mind practice by going to a fun, one-hour immersive experience?