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Educators Summit: Teaching Escape Room Design

Ira Fay  (Learning Games Designer, MIT)

Emilie Butt  (Community Fab Lab Instruction & Engagement Coordinator, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 22

Time: 1:20 pm - 1:50 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Educators

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

Despite the global pandemic, escape room games are here to stay, and many academic programs would like to provide (or already provide) their students with an opportunity to make such experiences. Each panelist presents a case study of their co-taught Designing Escape Rooms course. We also discuss infrastructure necessary for escape room design at each institution, such as tools and space constraints. Furthermore, we highlight applications to other genres, such as VR and hybrid experiences. Panelists conclude by identifying pitfalls and best practices, specific to teaching escape room design.


Attendees will leave the session with detailed knowledge of pitfalls and best practices related to teaching or co-teaching escape room design. Through case studies and real-world examples, attendees learn how two different programs created their escape room design courses, and how attendees could replicate it for their own programs.

Intended Audience

Anyone is welcome to attend this panel, and no prerequisite knowledge is required! Any educator or game designer working on puzzle design, immersive play environments, classes with significant space constraints, or co-taught classes would particularly benefit. Any fans of escape rooms would also likely appreciate the anecdotes and details!