ArtHouston issue#5

Page 50




An Immersive Experience Like Nothing Else O U R R E A L I T Y O F C O N C R E T E A N D C I N D E R B L O C K ends at Madame Daphne’s door. One member of our Writespace group knocks, the door cracks open, and a smooth ‘Welcome’ beckons us into the dimly-lit Victorian room. Our harsh modern clothing and mannerisms clash with the softer atmosphere and we cluster, uncertain and hushed. The air is full of possibilities, and we exchange glances, wondering what will happen next. Madame Daphne hands each of us a personalized box, and we perch on velvet divans to exam them while she shuffles her Tarot cards. In the low light, her mesmerizing gaze meets each of ours, and she beckons us closer. One by one we brave what the Tarot cards reveal as Madame Daphne weaves the start of our adventure. The transition from modern to Victorian is smooth and rapid. Yet Madame Daphne leaves a small window of time for each person to consider their agreement to the immersive entertainment. Each step of the game is a choice of the player. Each level allows for options, and this is a large part of the Houdini Séance Escape Room’s charm. It is reminiscent of the Choose Your Adventure computer games and Dungeons and Dragons. The interactive spooky fun, however, is made real. You don’t click on the item of curiosity or roll a die, you touch and manipulate the room and its items to the mystery and unlock the prize.

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