It has been two years already, since I started working as a game master with Live Escape Game, and
this job has been one of the most unique I was ever able to work in. It differs greatly from other
typical jobs for students like me, such as being a servant, working in an office or being a cashier. First,
the groups who decide to play in an escape room differ greatly from each other, and therefore every
work day varies from the past days, and the experience with each group is unique. Moreover, playing
in an escape room is an entertainment experience and therefore a special event for our visitors,
which is the reason they are in a good mood, which results in my work being very pleasant. In this
Blog, I will try to lay out what my job as an escape room game master is like, since it is quite likely
that many have no concrete picture of what we do, and hopefully will awaken the desire in some of
my readers to maybe try it out themselves sometime.
Before a game
The most important trait you should have as a game master would be liking contact with people. If a
group arrives at the escape room, they first and foremost are welcomed by the game master,
followed by the introductions to the rules and the story of the game. Therefore, the game master can
set the tone for the general mood, and if he or she does this pleasantly and with a motivating spirit,
the group notices instantly.
During a game
Not only the first encounter is important. In our escape rooms, the game masters are from time to
time in contact with the players, because they can always ask us for help if they don’t know what to
do next or don’t understand how a riddle has to be solved. They are able to contact us through a
phone or a radio whenever they need to, and vice versa. Again, our ability to motivate is in demand,
and if we are creative it’s even better. Because if we are versatile and creative with the kinds of clues
we give the respective groups, every group recieves the help fit for them, but without having the
riddles completely solved for them. As a game master, you need an instinct of the amount of help a
group might need. There are groups with higher experience, and for them our clues are a little more
subtle than for groups who do an escape room for the first time. Besides that, there are big
differences in the number of times the teams contact us game masters. Some groups are in constant
contact with us and ask if they did this or that right, and from other groups we practically never get a
call. There is no right or wrong for the groups concerning this – the frequency of contact is always
different, and as a game master it is important to commit to the different dynamics each team shows
to not help them too much or too little.
After the group was led into the room, there is another type of contact we have with them besides
the clue system, and this contact is a passive one – we see them in our cameras. They look like
surveillance cameras, but they’re just really there for us to know where the team currently stands in
the game. It is important for us to always pay attention, so we give them the right clues if they call
us. If there are multiple groups simultaneously in different rooms this demands a little bit of
multitasking. Watching the games from afar is by the way my favourite part of the work as a game
master. I don’t know how the other game masters go about this, but I personally always feel with my
groups and am happy for them if they get to solve a riddle correctly and on their own. I also feel
happiness when they laugh, because for me this is a proof that we truly have amazing escape rooms.
On top of that, if the time gets tight and they almost made it, I get exited for them and cheer
internally if they made it. I guess I’m just a people person, and peoples emotions move me. That’s
why I’m so happy with my job as an escape room game master.
After the game
After the game, the groups either made it out of the rooms in time or not. If they need more than an
hour, I usually let them continue for about 10-15 more minutes, and it is quite rare that I have to get
them out of the rooms before they finished the game. After the game, most groups have
transformed, because they just experienced an hour of exitement. The bonding they did during the game is still visible. We game masters always give them a little feedback afterwards and answer all of
their questions about the game, if they have any. After they left, a second very important task awaits
us game masters: we have to put the rooms back in order for the next group to enjoy them. Here
aswell, we have to be concentrated, and the rooms have to be put together in a backwards order.
This is a process that speeds up, the more practice you gain. I remember in my first weeks, I used to
need 30 minutes for what I now do in 10. So after two years, the process of tidying up became
almost an automatic process for me. Nonetheless, we should always keep the attention high,
because here it is where the mistakes usually happen. Maybe you use the wrong lock for a box, and it
gets only noticed when the next game already started.
All in all I have to say, I truly enjoy my job as a game master at Live Escape Game. Sometimes it
doesn’t even feel like work, since it is not dry and boring at all. And if you, dear reader, are one of our
customers that wants to come to us: if you show us your motivation and happiness when visiting us,
you really make my days!