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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston virtual escape room

On Thursday, April 2, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., UMass Boston had a virtual escape room for students to participate in. By going on the UMBeInvolved website, I was able to find all sorts of activities to do online, now that I have so much leisure time. We are some of the lucky bunch that still have organizations such as SAEC that are continuing their plans of student involvement for everyone, just shifted online. Many other schools have simply stopped funding those organizations or have halted on all things campus-related due to the pandemic. If you need something to do this week, make sure to check out the school’s website and also their social media, where information for various events will be posted. Here’s a review of my experience participating in an online activity organized through UMass Boston, an escape room.

When signing up for the escape room, there was a form you had to fill out with the amount of players you would be teaming up with, ranging from a minimum of three to a maximum of ten players on one team. You had to play digitally and talk to your teammates through Zoom. I hadn’t realized this, so I had to make a team last minute that was just made up of my boyfriend and I. I had some trouble with the website, but the workers who were online that were meant to assist us came to my rescue. After restarting my computer and launching and relaunching over and over again the Google Chrome app, we had begun playing! This was probably already around 8:20 p.m. Though the escape room was only advertised through 8:30 p.m., they allowed us to play for however long until we figured out the codes we were trying to crack. The workers who were there to help users would only be available until 9 p.m., but at least that gave us a bit of time if we had any more questions.

Each escape room is different, with a new theme or various situations as the setting, so I didn’t know what to expect. This one was about a murder of nine people, and we were supposed to figure out who had committed the crime. We were looking for two culprits: one dead and one alive. We were given various accounts to “hack” in the game, supposedly breaking into a police officer’s information to figure out who committed the murder. On the beginning screen, there’s a link to a Google Drive that contains clues you need to use to hack into these accounts, with various suspects lined up and crumbled up notes from the officer’s desk. By looking at different clues and trying a million different codes, eventually we were able to get into one of the accounts, which at the very least just puts us past step 1 of an escape room. After being stuck on this one clue for quite awhile, we got frustrated and called in a worker to the Zoom chat for help. With a little hint, we were able to move along.

By the end of the escape room, we were down to two suspects and it was 9:00 p.m. We tried to figure out which one had been the one that committed the murders, and which one had actually died while trying because we knew we needed both to complete the challenge. Taking a second look at all the clues, we tried to use deductive reasoning to solve the puzzle, but we still don’t know if we were right or not yet. Since we had taken so long, our answers haven’t been given back to us yet to confirm or not. Overall, it was something different and fun to do during this quarantine, thanks to UMass Boston.

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief