Escape rooms: where science turns into magic

In escape rooms you might face with riddles that seem to be unsolvable,usually, the solution is pretty easy but players are overthinking the situation, that’s why they can’t move forward. In this article, you can read about a few simple but effective tricks that magicians use a lot, and it might be useful to you as well when you have just a few minutes to escape a room.


In most cases magicians and game designers turn our brains against us that’s how they trick us. Let’s see a few examples:


Defects of our visual systems

That’s basically about placing pictures in people’s mind that never happened. This trick is more than 2000 years old, even the ancient Egyptians used it  The point is, people think they see something that is not there. If you throw a ball three times, and at fourth, you just ACT throwing it, the audience starts to follow the fly of the ball in spite of the fact the ball is not even there. What happening is, the brain writes over what the eyes see. Of course, it doesn’t last for a long time, but even if just for a short time, the illusion created. Why does it work? Sometimes we think we see something that’s not even there. Human perception is not about getting the full picture about reality. It’s much more about the brain makes screenshots about reality, and imagines the rest. This is what we call cognitive illusions. The visual stimulus arrives in the brain in 0,001 seconds thru the eyes, and that’s the way brain tries to compensate the late, it tries to foretell what’s going to happen in the future. This is a really positive feature of our brain, very useful in everyday life, but magicians and escape rooms can turn it against you with the help of cognitive illusions!


Change blindness

If you focus on something really hard, you won’t be able to realize even the biggest changes around you, proved by scientists. It can be unbelievable how big changes can be made in front of your eyes without noticing what’s happened. Watch this amazing video to see what I’m talking about:

If you want to see more exciting experiments like this check out Richard Wiseman's blog.

Always keep your eyes open, to find the key to the solution as  fast as possible. I


Illusion of free choices

People think they are able to make decisions by themselves, but the truth is, there are many technics and possibilities to influence the crowd, and these are used often by marketing experts, politicians, magicians and many others, these are the basics of brainwash. Books were written about this subject in the 1500’s, since then influencing technics evolved a lot. The tools are surprisingly easy, just a few half sentences, gestures, well- placed objects can be enough to make somebody choose what we want.



Defects of memory

However, the human brain is one of the most complex and awesome creation in the world, it doesn’t always work in a perfect way. The things happening around you, are not important. The best performers, magicians and game designers know, the magic doesn’t have to happen in their hands, it must be created in the heads of the audience/players. There are methods that can help you to make some memories disappear, others intensified, in some cases give memories about things that never even happened. Scientists made experiments related to the human anamnesis, and they realized, if they ask questions right after an action happened, they can give new memories for the people who have been asked, they can give them memories about things that never happened.


These methods are often used not just in escape rooms or magic shows, but in everyday life as well.