As I mentioned in an article a few weeks ago, I’ve been playing escape rooms online since I was in middle school. However, it wasn’t until earlier this year that I discovered that they were real interactive experiences. Specifically, not until Chris Evans announced his latest Omaze campaign.
Some backstory here: The first thing you should know is that I am a huge Marvel superhero nerd, especially when it comes to Captain America. I’ve been wearing an Avengers Assemble bracelet since I graduated high school. My best friend and I have matching Captain America phone cases. I have a motorcycle jacket custom ordered to look like the stealth suit from Winter Soldier. But I digress.
The second thing you should know is what an awesome platform Omaze is. It’s a website that essentially raffles off these fun, extravagant experiences and the chance to meet famous celebrities—Robert Downey Jr, Orlando Bloom, Matt Damon, etc. All of the proceeds go to charity as well, so it’s a double bonus.
Well, this past January, I found my way to this glorious video.
Before you ask, yes, I did enter the competition. And no, I did not win.
Now, there are obviously some differences between this guerilla-style escape room and the kinds of games we have at Escape the Room Long Island. The clues are not as obvious as a giant sign with the code written on it. Players are not asked to dress up and interact with strangers on the street. And of course, I’m on the other end of the walkie-talkie instead of Chris Evans. That one is admittedly a drawback.
But at the end of the day, this video is the reason that I have the job that I do. Without this video, I might not have applied for the position at some escape room I’d never visited. I talked about this video during my interview, and I’ve watched it for kicks many times since. For me at least, this was definitely the right kind of publicity that escape rooms needed.
Now for the funny part!
This past weekend, I had the privilege of running a game for our Mysterious Time Warp room. I gave the group my normal speech, asking whether or not anyone had ever played an escape game before. Two people said yes, and one man said, “Kinda.” When I asked for an explanation, he laughed. “I played with Chris Evans.”
Funnily enough, it turned out that he was one of the people from the video, who’d been surprised by Chris Evans in a Boston comic book shop. And we were the first escape room he’d played since! Talk about a small world!
I managed to keep my cool, and their group did really well with one of our hardest rooms. I didn’t get the whole story about what had happened when he met Chris Evans, but he did show me a picture of the two of them on his phone. And when he left, I made sure to thank him for stopping by. That video is the reason I have this awesome job, after all!