Toward the Implementation of Escape Room Games in an Educational Context
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15th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL 2021), Brighton, UK, September 23-24.
During the last decade, escape rooms have become a popular place of amusement. Escape the Room is best described as a combination of LARP (Live Action Role Play), scavenger hunt, and Sherlock Holmes. The players are immersed in a scenario and have a set amount of time to solve a variety of puzzles using the materials and information provided to move from one room to the next until they can finally leave the building. While escape rooms are mainly deployed for team-building activities or entertainment, there are further fields of application. In an interdisciplinary project at Johannes Kepler University Linz, we adapted escape rooms for educational purposes. The Institute of Business Informatics ? Software Engineering and the School of Education developed three escape room games designed to impart the principles of computer science to a younger audience in a fun way. The players can select a board game, a computer game, or a real-life game, each with its unique story, puzzles, and hints. The game variants focus on computer science but can be expanded and adapted to other subjects. As all the constructions and puzzles show a flexible design, they can be adapted to the educational level of the respective target group (primary level, secondary I + II, teacher training, and university courses) and abilities of students. Each game contains additional bonus material for experienced players. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the test phase of all three escape room game variants was postponed but is planned to continue in autumn 2021.