Test your knowledge and save the day in the First Contact escape room

Shuttles are boarding now for the CHEST 2121 meeting on Jupiter.

The “First Contact” escape room will once again transport attendees 100 years into the future on a space flight that will test their pulmonary knowledge through a series of interactive multimedia puzzles. The Zoom-based experience will take place live on Tuesday, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm CT. Registration is required in advance and can be found through the games page on the virtual meeting platform.

As in years past, participants will find themselves thrust into an extraterrestrial adventure starring familiar faces from the CHEST community, including William Kelly, MD, FCCP, whose character helps guide players through the storyline. Players work together against the clock to solve puzzles in different locations, uncovering clues that they can use to ultimately save the day.

The immersive escape room concept originally premiered as a physical experience at CHEST 2019 in New Orleans. Now in its second year in the virtual space, it will include the opportunity to sign up with groups of at least five people.

“People can show up as a team, with colleagues from their institution, or just show up solo and get to meet half a dozen new people,” Dr. Kelly said. “It really capitalizes on the video conferencing platform, but you still have the fun, the camaraderie, and the time pressure of the physical escape room.”

CHEST 2021 will also feature the debut of a one-player version of the escape room, which will be available Tuesday afternoon through at least October 2022, when the meeting platform closes. Although the social aspects of the live event make it the preferred experience, organizers have been working to translate the “edutainment” to a new format that can be enjoyed by anyone with a full schedule.

“It’s all the same content, the same feel, except players will be challenged to complete the escape solo,” said CHEST Learning Experience Design Coordinator Abbigail Perillo.

Anyone who hasn’t experienced “First Contact” live should get in while there are still seats left on the shuttle, Dr. Kelly said. It promises to be a rich educational experience that is also richly entertaining for participants—even those who aren’t familiar with escape rooms.

“Last year, it was at night, and we had a couple of participants bring their kids on,” Perillo said. “So it’s a relaxed, lighthearted experience. People are learning and having fun.”

More information about the escape room educational concept can be found in an article published by Dr. Kelly and his colleagues earlier this year in the journal, CHEST®. And during CHEST 2021, Dr. Kelly will speak with his partners about how to build your own escape rooms, as part of the on-demand session Teaching Digitally Native Learners Utilizing Design and Game Theories With Technology.