Who Are We?
They call to us in our sleep, arousing our secret passions. How they move, sound, smell, even think seduced us. Every night the hunger grows and the hunt begins. We do not want; we hunger. We do not consume; we devour. This is no mere game; this is Rapture, this is Ecstasy, this is Salvation!
With each victory, we grow emboldened; with each loss, more determined. We have foregone food, shelter and sleep for days on end just for a chance at one more glorious carnage.
We’ve made allies along the way, and nearly a few enemies. But the Pack has welcomed us; each passing hour our family grows. One day we will find our ultimate quarry, but today we found our home.
Yes, we suppose we can get a bit carried away when it comes to Escape Rooms, but it’s already been such a fantastic journey, filled with so many great stories and surprises we want to share it with everyone. Become part of this amazing adventure with us and tell us some of your narrow escapes.
Paul S. Nowak
A New York City native, Paul was named valedictorian as he earned his Master’s of Science in Game Design at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. As a game designer, Paul has worked on games for Warner Brothers, Disney Interactive, & the U.S. Olympic Team, among others.
An avid gamer, Paul strongly believes that games could and should be a welcoming space for all players, particularly to those in the LGBT community. His research into the correlation between sexual identity and game-playing preferences can be found in his book Gaymers: the difference a ‘Y’ makes, on which he has given several lectures in various speaking engagements and conferences, such as GaymerX.
Paul has recently returned to Florida after being offered a teaching post for the undergraduate Game Design degree of his alma mater. When he’s not teaching, Paul can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons, enjoying theme parks, and continuing his novel series.
On escape room teams, Paul is quick to take charge, guiding new players and being the human shield. He loves escape rooms that offer an extended amount of rummaging for clues, discovering patterns and abstract thinking.
Michael is an archaeologist, writer, and teacher specializing in the anthropology of games and their use in education & museums. His career developed years ago when assigned to the sports column of his school newspaper. A California native, Michael worked for The Learning Channel and in independent film before earning degrees in both Archaeology and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where he specialized in the archaeology of children’s toys. He frequently worked as a journalist, eventually becoming the editor-in-chief of Time Out: Istanbul before returning to Columbia for an MA in medieval archaeology; his thesis was on children’s games in the age of Beowulf.
He has written for and been featured in various publications, including Slate, The New Yorker, n+1, Salon, World Literature Today and the LA Review of Books. He has also been anthologized several times. He occasionally–very, very rarely–gets to work as an independent curator and illustrator, maintaining an online gallery at The Shakespeare Museum, is currently finishing a translation of The Canterbury Tales in addition to a book on escape rooms. You can hear his fictional adventure serial podcast, The Storybook Pirate, on iTunes.
When designing puzzles, Michael likes to create experiences that use sound and light in unexpected ways. As an escape room player though he likes map-based puzzles, probably because he can make up for the time he cost his team when he couldn’t do math under pressure–or anything at all practical, for that matter. For example, he doesn’t know how to edit his own bio on this website. He’s mistrustful of lavish scenery or expensive-looking special effects, but nothing makes him happier than finding a puzzle or cipher authentic to the room’s period or setting. We usually lose if that happens, because interesting though the replica-puzzle may be, it just distracts him, really, and sometimes he forgets that he’s supposed to solve it.
On escape room teams, Michael excels in any challenge dealing with history, geography, or ancient civilizations. He loves escape rooms that are true to their subjects, holding theming and historical accuracy above almost all else, and include pictographic challenges.