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Teams battle it out in the MIT-inspired #escaperoomworldchampionship.
It is a modern-day Great Escape with 24 teams from around the world battling to get out of a locked room as soon as they’ve entered it in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
Mission: Unlock Enoch is the brainchild of Dr Konstantin Mitgutsch following an Escape Room Game Jam at the #massachusettsinstituteoftechnology, whose alumni include 27 Nobel Prize winners and range from the astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan.
The story of the Escape Room World Finals is inspired by Hollywood sci-fi film “MindGamers” The Movie, a film by Terra Mater starring Sam Neill.
“I thought the Escape Room could be more than just a promotional thing but a world championship,” says Austrian Mitgutsch. “But it’s not something you can come up with on your own.
“So hence the idea of a Games Jam at MIT. We brainstormed for 48 hours and came up with a lot of ideas. One of the ideas was a digital room with beams, so we came up with a digital cube as a qualifying stage. And slowly it has taken puzzle solving to a new level.”
From nearly 10,000 players in 75 qualifier events, the world championships have been whittled down to 22 national teams of four people that qualified as well as two wildcard teams.
Participants ranging from Austria to the United States will vie for the title of first escape room world champions, with semi-finals taking part on March 23 and 24, and the final between the top two teams on March 25.
And Mitgutsch believes the format has the potential to appeal to everyone. “We all have mind games and like to challenge our minds,” he explains “whether it’s logic, creativity or music. There are all kinds of different mind skills. This is the ultimate mind skills challenge.
“It’s super exciting because this is a very different form of sport we’re bringing here. We’re really taking normal people on the biggest stage to show their mind skills.”
The stage for what is effectively the #escaperoomworldchampionship has been designed by visiting professor at MIT, and Professor of Game Design and Development at Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr Scott Nicholson.
The idea of coming up with the games, says Mitgutsch, was “really fun while having to be super secret.”
For Mitgutsch, his particular love affair with puzzles began when he used to solve them with his sister growing up, and those formative years define his approach to mind games today.
“The escapism is part of this and not the aspect that you’re escaping our world but entering a new one with new rules,” he says. “But I think my favourite part of it all is the collaboration.”
He says it is impossible to pick a pre-Budapest favourite saying that the best puzzling solving individuals could yet be undone by the quartet that works best as a team.
“If you solve something on your own, it’s cool but it’s better if someone solves something with you and it sparks something off in them and you. That’s what we’ll see here.
To find out more about Red Bull Mind Gamers & access mind games all year long, click HERE.
Mission: Unlock Enoch World Finals: LIVE on Red Bull TV, Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 8pm CET.
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