No posts for a month and a half? It’s become obvious to me that despite the fact there’s plenty to talk about, I’ve rather lost interest in saying it in this blog in its present form.
- The UK team at the World Puzzle Championships considerably exceeded expectations, finishing a national record fifth and taking some impressive scalps along the way. Many congratulations!
- The UK’s own Escape Room Industry Conference was a tremendous success, though I wasn’t there. However, I did meet David from Room Escape Artist when he was making a flying visit and he was very sweet; if he lived over here, he would absolutely fit in and it would be a joy to see him more frequently. That said, this is not unusual at all; I’m struggling to think of anyone I know in the UK escape game community (including those who have come to visit from abroad!) who isn’t very near the top of my list of favourite people.
- In July I mentioned the then-upcoming Hunt for Justice; it did happen and brought great joy as well as raising a hefty four-digit sum for The Innocence Project. A good excuse for not blogging about it in more detail is that there is discussion of rerunning it, at least in person in some communities, but do see Larry Hosken’s spoiler-free piece from behind the scenes.
- In other puzzle hunt news, I’m on a team making extremely gentle progress through Puzzle Island 4, and the puzzles there are a great deal of fun. Quite wordplay-heavy and a fair bit of US pop culture, but recommended nevertheless. Pretty sure you can still buy access, though if you care about finishing first, some of the fastest teams cracked it within a long weekend.
- There’s also an online puzzle hunt running through December and January connected to the Solver independent movie, with a number of star constructors.
- Pablo’s Armchair Treasure Hunt starts in December for its thirty-something’th iteration and I’m sure it’ll remain as worthy as ever of the deepest of attention; other events may be more accessible, but are also much more shallow by design, and it’s a joyous development as ever that the world of puzzles is able to reward you however near or far you choose to dive in at any particular moment.
- There are a couple of interesting-looking Kickstarter puzzle projects on the go at the moment, which have even funded despite their high ambition, but I’m not sufficiently convinced about the ability of the unknown people behind them to fulfil their high promises to link to them.
Adding it all up, there are a lot of exciting and relevant ventures happening at the moment, maybe more than ever. That said, I don’t really feel like writing about them here, and I haven’t felt like writing about them for some time, and it’s becoming ever clearer that this blog (silly name and all!) isn’t working for me any more. The escape game industry is flourishing ever more dramatically still; its appeal for me waned considerably when it became clear that it’s more and more a marketing business these days, but it’s clear that the world at large is becoming sufficiently familiar with the escape game industry premise that there must surely yet be more of the interesting, weird, brave offshoots to come. There are a couple of dozen different little puzzle-ish hobbies out there in the UK which aren’t really interacting with each other and that number can surely only grow.
I’m building up something of a track record of starting blogs and then shutting them down, or handing them over to someone who’ll do a better job, within a year or two; more evidence that running my own blog isn’t right for me after all – at least, at the moment. There are still things to say which other people aren’t really saying, so perhaps I’ll see you around.