Room Escape Artistis creating Escape Room Creator & Player Resources
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Receive a handwritten, wax-sealed thank-you note and an invitation to an exclusive REA Patreon Supporters Slack channel.
Read one piece a month before it publishes. We’ll choose a really intriguing one! And we'll welcome your edits. You'll also receive all the Flashlight Holder benefits.
Read three pieces a month before they publish. We’ll choose three of the most interesting pieces! And we'll welcome your edits. You'll also receive all the Flashlight Holder benefits.
Room Escape Artist began in 2014 with our musings about escape rooms. Four years and more than 1,000 blog posts later, it's grown to a daily publication and a collection of resources:
- Reviews that commend ingenuity and provide constructive feedback
- Directory of escape room facilities across the United States
- Growth statistics released annually based on market data
- Awards that highlight some of the finest escape rooms in the world
- Thought pieces that unpack and analyze issues in the community
- Interviews with extraordinary players and creators
- Meetups for sharing ideas, finding teammates, and building community
- Tours to some of the most impressive escape rooms in the world
- Speaking Engagements at conferences and other industry events
All of our blog posts are available at RoomEscapeArtist.com for free. The Patreon doesn't change that.
Please support us in providing resources to enable a sustainable escape room industry for many years to come.
- Upgrade the website infrastructure so that you can more easily find the content you seek.
- Launch a new directory with a mobile-friendly UI for you, less work on the backend for us, and new features for everyone.
- Write more commentary pieces... the type that takes many hours of research, interviews, and data analysis.
- Highlight games in the other parts of the United States. Our travels thus far have been primarily coastal, and occasionally international. We know that there are many more incredible games in other parts of this country just waiting to be discovered, written about, and shared.
- Develop new types of events – like the Escape, Immerse, Explore tours – that bring like-minded folks together to enjoy these experiences.
- Launch a whole bunch of super-secret projects that we aren’t sharing yet!
You will support our mission to provide well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous pieces that push the industry forward. You will support our efforts to build a community of players and creators that will sustain the escape room industry for the future.
We both work day jobs. All of the content you read is created on weekends and in the evenings… and late into the night. We are at capacity. We have more ideas than we can possibly create in off hours. With your support, we will give more time to Room Escape Artist.
Curious where the names for the support levels come from?
Our Not-So-Secret Origin Story
We met in a bar on a snowy evening, only a few days after David had visited Escape the Room NYC, the first escape room to open on the east coast of the US.
"David was describing this room filled with interactive puzzles and the excitement of solving them in the nick of time. I was intrigued."
"I asked for her number... and now we're married and writing this blog together."
As we played escape rooms together in 2014, we encouraged our friends to join in. David wrote a blog post called Real Life Escape the Room 101 (on his personal blog) to give folks a sense of what to expect going in. That calmed fears of the unknown and created more functional team dynamics.
Then we brought some friends to a really terrible room. That happened in the early days because the Internet couldn’t tell us which games would be good. David decided to give the Internet some knowledge. He wrote a review warning people away from this escape room… and promising that it didn’t represent all escape rooms.
In August of 2014, we spent an afternoon with the Internet, searching for all escape rooms in the US. The first step to playing them was finding them. Lisa made a Google map and its companion Google sheet.
We launched Room Escape Artist with these few blog posts and a directory of 2 dozen escape rooms. We wanted to share our love of letting strangers lock us inside giant puzzles, and to push the makers of those giant puzzles to create the best experiences they can.
Since that snowy evening in a bar, David proposed (with a puzzle box!), we got married (with a wedding puzzle!), and we started a life together. David thinks up new ideas. Lisa keeps the ideas going. Together, we built a thing much bigger than each of us.
Words from the Community
“You put the fuzzy ideas I had about escape rooms into words much better than I could!” – Joanna
“I read Room Escape Artist every day. I have no idea how you two do it, and I am personally in debt to you as an escape room owner. You're bringing up the escape room industry into a mature art form.” – Haley E. R. Cooper, Strange Bird Immersive, Houston, TX, USA
“Your blog has been an invaluable resource as I have designed and am now building my first Escape Room(s). You critiques encourage and frighten me. My decisions are influenced by this question: What would David & Lisa think? The answer compels me to reach a litter higher... Thanks.” – Jim, Paradox Squared, Woodstock, IL, USA
“Room Escape Artist is a gem in the vast desert of the escape room/puzzle scene. With their daily coverage and detailed reviews, David and Lisa Spira are doing something extraordinary.”
– Ben Rosner, New York, NY, USA
“Your description about 'The Question of Best' is why REA is so valuable to the rest of us. 'Best' is a flawed term for escape rooms, but without question, is not going away. There is no 'Best' ice cream flavor though there are definitely favorites. What makes an ice cream flavor good? That requires a more nuanced exploration, depends on personal preferences, and so much more. That is what REA gives us readers. Thank You!” – David Longley, Arizona, USA
"Room Escape Artist is the wittiest, most resourceful escape room guide out there. Lisa and David allow enthusiasts to live vicariously through their adventures, giving readers a sneak peek into a wide variety of rooms while somehow not spoiling any of the mystery behind what makes the room so fun to solve on your own. Best of all, in an industry where recommendations are hard to trust, Room Escape Artist gives you the tools you need to decide for yourself what room to experience next. – Kate Wastl, Buffalo, NY, USA
“I have nothing but genuine respect and admiration for Lisa and David. I am in constant awe of their endless passion and tireless dedication to the interactive/immersive game industry.” – Tommy Honton, Stash House, Los Angeles, CA, USA
"When I first thought of opening an escape room in July 2015, I did tons of research. At some point I came across your web-site and subscribed. As I looked through your posts I came across some words you wrote and pinned them to my wall. After what can only seem like an eternity, we will open our doors this month (February, 2016). Although I haven’t had time to read everything you have written, I wanted to say thank you. Every time I’m in my shop I read through the words and make sure I am following them." – Jason Richard, Steal and Escape, San Diego, CA, USA