By Crystal Harrell |Staff Writer from Palm Desert Campus|
The CSUSB satellite campus in Palm Desert will be giving puzzle-lovers the chance to compete in its second interactive Escape Room competition May 15 and 18.
Teams consisting of up to five players will have a maximum of 45 minutes to unlock a cryptex, a portable vault device reminiscent to the one featured in The Da Vinci Code. The numbers needed to unlock the cryptex will be revealed once players solve various riddles and clues and find secret boxes and compartments within a room.
The team that manages to open the cryptex in the shortest amount of time will win the Escape Room competition. Each member of the winning team will also receive a $25 gift card as a prize.
“The Escape Room is something that I would definitely want to try out because I love a challenge and it just looks really cool. The idea reminds me of something out of the movie Saw, but without the killing,” said Ali Guillory, student.
Escape Rooms have increased in popularity over the years, with many incorporating elaborate sets and story lines to accommodate teams of people looking for a one-of-a-kind, thrilling experience.
Since the event is sponsored by the PDC Student Health Center and the Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health (PEACHes) program, the Escape Room will have a health-related theme.
The first Escape Room held by PDC last quarter required participants to learn about basic health topics like diabetes, testicular cancer and the flu. One particular activity, for example, had participants earn clues by determining how many lumps were on a testicular cancer model.
Since the first Escape Room received a favorable response from the student body, it was brought back this month with spaces quickly being filled. This quarter’s Escape Room will focus on a biohazard theme, featuring puzzles pertaining to Ebola, HIV, anthrax and meningitis.
“I’m a very competitive person, so I think the Escape Room is a good opportunity that also allows me to test my mentality. Plus, I work well in a team setting,” said participant Stephen Ray.
Although most Escape Rooms utilize the concept of teams being in a “locked” room with occasional clues transmitted to them by the game masters through audio devices, the PDC Escape Room will be supervised by health educator/Student Activities Coordinator Albert Angelo inside the room.
“The Escape Room is 45 minutes of intense fun and frustration. Even two owners of a local Escape Room played last time and didn’t win! Students participating in the competition enjoy the experience and what they learn playing the game could save their lives,” stated Angelo.
The event is free for participants and open to community members who do not attend PDC if there are slots available. For those interested in signing up for the Escape Room or other future events, Angelo can be contacted at [email protected] to reserve a spot.