How to make a fortune in isolation, one puzzle at a time

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Coles, ANZ, Facebook, Amazon, Medibank and Telstra are among the companies that have organized the sessions, accommodating up to 2,000 people competing in small teams. To Postma’s anguish, all companies want to run sessions at 4 p.m. on Fridays, and he can’t find enough people to accommodate them.

Escape Room Melbourne is another local business that has taken their concept online. His experience, aptly called Insulation and hosted by an actor who guides the team and plays the main character, has been played nearly 200 times.

The group runs about 15 sessions per week, up to $ 200 each, which last two hours and are booked until the end of October.

In this game’s very meta storyline, you’re in a Zoom call with friends when you realize someone else is calling. He’s trapped in a room alone and needs your help. No, it’s not COVID, but you need to “do your own research” to resolve the crisis.

The company, which launched the city’s first real escape room in a granny apartment at the back of a Flemington garden in 2014, has spent more than two months developing the experience.

Director Kathryn Kaehler described Insulation, which launched last October, as a ‘choose your own adventure’ experience with multiple endings that uses Zoom, Drop Box, Google Drive, and links to websites to offer clues.

“You have to be confusing, curious, creative, curious. We have had badly successful doctors and engineers. It’s not how smart you are, it’s what kind of smart you are, ”she said.

“We have had people in Australia who have organized time with their friend in Hong Kong and their family in the UK. It’s not just about having a drink on Zoom, it’s about doing something together.

Actor and host Matt Carson, who has a theater background and started doing real-world sessions for the company about five years ago, said he improvises about half of each experience.

“They can see me, they can hear me, I can see them … I react to what the team suggests to me,” he said.

“It’s the same as putting on a theater performance – the energy the audience brings makes it different every time.

Escape Artist: Melbourne actor Matt Carson guides people through Isolation, an online escape room experience where teams come together to solve puzzles together.Credit:Chris Hopkins

“Since the start of Lockdown # 5 in Melbourne, we’ve been fully booked. “

“It really is an experience that was done in isolation over isolation … it’s about helping people, being compassionate and understanding.”

Even the returning Olympians jumped into the action, with a group of bronze-medal-winning baby boomers playing from their respective quarantined rooms at the hotel on their return from Tokyo.

“They did very well, both in the experience and in the Olympics,” Carson said.

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