by Simon Usborne
In 60 minutes – and the clock has just begun ticking – Prof Blacksheep will have hacked the computer mainframe in the abandoned lab of his arch-nemesis, Mr Q, who is a mouse. The professor, who accidentally turned himself into a sheep during an experiment to gain animal superpowers, wants to do more dark stuff with genes and unleash a global internet supervirus. My job, as a secret agent, is to stop it and save the world after first shrinking myself to mouse size to get into the lab.
I’ve had simpler nights out in north London, where I am confined to the basement of a former nightclub. My other mission, beyond the whole sheep-hacking thing, is to explore the rise of the escape room. After five years of steep growth – there are now almost 1,500 escape rooms across Britain – this upstart entertainment hybrid is mutating into something mainstream.
Eleven days from now, Red Bull, the energy drink more commonly associated with extreme sports, will stage the Escape Room world championships in Shoreditch, London. Four-strong teams from 23 countries will travel to the event, which will culminate in Omni’s Escape, a room that will have an ethical theme involving artificial intelligence, designed by Scott Nicholson, a professor of gaming in Ontario, Canada…
Image courtesy of The Guardian