How to leave an escape room intact

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In every day life, most people are fairly capable of keeping their surroundings intact. Learning the hard way they've built a list of do's and dont's to keep material damage within reasonable limits. Put them in an escape room however, and standards don't seem to apply anymore. Sadly, our belongings are as breakable as those in the outside world.

We put these pointers online, hoping that someone reads them and maybe does a little less damage next time, either with us or our competition. Also, it's kinda nice to cope with the emotional pain that three years of daily emergency repairs have inflicted.

If something's fixed, it's fixed

It may sound odd, but even in escape rooms stuff needs to be permanently mounted as well. If we bolt a cupboard to the wall, because you're not meant to walk around with it, you're probably still able to tear it loose by putting your foot against the wall and using lots of force. You're not meant to do that! The fun part is, it takes very little force to find out something's just fixed.

Don't put delicate things on the floor

If you've used something, as a rule, you can just drop it. Proverbially! Delicate items like small equipment, glasswork or pottery, wood carvings and so on have to be handled with some respect, even in escape rooms. So preferably, don't drop them one and a half meters the second you're done with it. And don't leave them lying on the floor, waiting for someone to step on it. Put it in a safe spot.

We don't have time for refurbishment between groups

Bear in mind that after you're done, other people need to be able to play the room as well. And with "after" we don't mean "next week", but "in half an hour". So you can, for example, tear down the wall paper, because you think there might be a code hidden underneath, but we don't have time to redo the entire wall, so you're not supposed to!

It won't fit through the gap

Not all objects in an escape room should be available immediately. To make sure they appear at any one moment, we might put them in a box with a lock on it, for example. Even though it's clear you need to remove the lock to be able to lift the lid, you start wondering if the contents won't fit through the gap after all. And maybe you're even wondering if you can make the gap a little bigger to make it fit. The answer to your contemplations is: "NO!". First of all, you'll spoil the fun, because you'll skip one or more puzzles (which you've paid to solve, mind you!). Then you won't be thanked by your team, as you're not using your brain, but wrecking stuff. You'll actually embarrass them. The saddest thing however, is that our trust in humanity slips even further, if we see someone standing on a briefcase, with his fingers behind the rim, yanking it like a delusional gorilla.

Don't write solutions on objects in the game

Should it be necessary to write something down, a piece of paper and a pen will be provided to you. Fee free to go bananas with the pen. We don't care if you note something useful, draw a kitten, or capture childhood memories. As long as you do it on the paper! If you're working out a riddle in a book, we'll have to replace the book. Not cool. If you're putting lock combinations on furniture, we'll have to replace it. Even less cool. If you carve solutions in our plastered walls with a pen, we'll have to repair and paint it. Ultimately not cool! You'd get mad if we did this in your home, so limit yourself to the piece of paper.

In conclusion

Try not to force us to build our escape rooms like the stainless steel toilets on our train stations. Be careful with other people's belongings, even in escape rooms!