The University for Continuing Education Krems is exploring the multifaceted world of escape rooms in a summer school from July 3 to 5, 2024. Organized by the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies in cooperation with ‘in scope GmbH’, escape rooms will be examined from three perspectives: Education, cultural mediation and organizational development. Game designers, cultural experts, education professionals, cultural mediators, organizational developers, researchers and enthusiasts are invited to contribute and share their insights, experiences and research in this growing field.

Escape rooms are team-based live-action games that have gained popularity worldwide thanks to their captivating mix of experiencing a story, solving mysteries and teamwork. Participants in escape rooms must find clues, solve puzzles and complete tasks within a set time frame with the aim of escaping the room. This unique form of entertainment and reflection has evolved from various influences, including live-action role-playing games, point-and-click adventure games, puzzle hunts, interactive theater and cultural education programs. It appeals to people across age, gender and cultural boundaries. This makes the popular leisure activity an excellent tool for educational purposes, cultural experiences, for example in museums, and team building in companies. Escape rooms can be customized to fit a variety of themes and stories; this allows for creativity and innovation. Their growth reflects the desire for more engaging, practical and social forms of entertainment and education. Since June 2022, the Archives of Contemporary Arts Collection of Literary Estates, which is based at the University for Continuing Education Krems, has also been operating an escape room, "The Archivist's Dream", which was developed by the Center for Applied Game Studies team.

A variety of approaches to the topic

Submissions on the topic of escape rooms in the fields of education, cultural mediation and organizational development can be made until 15 April 2024. This can be a presentation of an escape room (or similar game formats), reflections on the design process or a research paper on the topic. Workshops or game sessions may be proposed as well. Anyone who would like to start a new escape room project themselves will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, obtain feedback and further develop ideas during the Summer School. 

There are various publication options for each presentation format, from mere presentation to academic or project contributions to publication in the journal "DAC - Digital Journal for Arts and Cultural Studies | Digitales Journal für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften". The annual journal is published by the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies at University of Krems Press.

The Summer School will be led by Natalie Denk, Head of the Center for Applied Game Studies, Prof. Anja Grebe, Head of the Center for Cultures and Technologies of Collecting, Helmut Neundlinger, Head of the Archives of Contemporary Arts Collection of Literary Estates, and Alexander Pfeiffer, Head of the Emerging Technologies Experiences Lab.



Beyond the Lock: Innovative Approaches to Escape Rooms in Education, Culture, and Organizational Development
Summer School

Date:             July 3–5, 2024
Location:      University for Continuing Education Krems
Language:    Englisch

The registration deadline for participation in the Summer School is June 15, 2024.


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