by Chris Dunmire | October 22, 2021
"Making pixels fun since Y2K"
Have you ever been to a corn maze? These old-school escape rooms are popular in the Midwest right now along with pumpkin patches and apple orchards. As nature paints the landscape harvest red, orange, yellow, and brown, farmers reap their harvest and carve creative playgrounds into their fields.
I was in a corn maze a few weeks ago that took about a half-hour to exit after rounding several loops and dead ends. These elements are what give the puzzle the challenge, but after a while, you can't just put your pencil down. You are the pencil.
At one point, I trusted following a couple of rogue children who seemed to know where they were going (they didn't), and as soon as they vanished around a bend, I wondered how many people needed to be rescued from the stalking stalks or made their own path out. Before the longing for completion took over, I was jarred by a peck of kernels raining on my head when brother-in-law thought it was funny to toss some corn at me. Wisely, he vanished around a bend.
After the escape, I realized the stages of corn mazing went like this: anticipation, adventure, expended, and fruition, which follows the classic problem-solving template and creative process. Notice where else these stages show up for you and how they are not always linear.
Indoor escape rooms have the added elements of timing and teamwork progressing up a chain of puzzles towards an end goal, which is interesting to experience and notice the differences in how you collaborate with family vs. co-workers. If taken too seriously, a ticking clock can easily morph into a time bomb and turn fun into none.
How will you find hidden words you don't know? Introduce yourself! The first direction-following eScribir who sends me a picture of the completed puzzle by October 31, 2021 will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.
7 Ideas. 3 Sketches. 1 Refinement. Send me your best!
We Are Nature
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Messages from the Muse
Ready for Halloween? If you need some playful printables, let me know and I'll give you a copy of my Halloween Tricks & Treats for Teachers. Remember, on some level, we're all teachers! (It's okay if you just want a copy just for yourself.)
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