In this episode, Megan Eardley interviews the artist, puzzle-maker, and escape room designer Laura E. Hall about the design of escape rooms for the public, building community, and the politics of play. Together, they reflect on the popular appeal of detective work in an era of corporate dragnet surveillance.

  • “That is a real challenge in integrating technology into something like that, and especially for a temporary event. It’s a lot easier when you can hardwire everything and you know that there’s a reliable internet connection.”

  • “The idea that you could summon all of these strangers together in person to collaboratively work on some sort of fictional puzzle thing was very exciting to me.”

  • “As a writer and as a creator of things, there is an element of control and an element of world building. You as a creator have to know everything about that world and then you select which parts of that world you present to people and in what way.”

  • “I don’t necessarily think you have to have those things because ultimately in any kind of experiential work, it’s really down to the person. They’re the ones making the story for themselves, and you’re just facilitating them in some ways.”

  • “I think that just culturally and as humans, we want to know the human mind right? It’s the greatest mystery. We don’t know ourselves all that well, and it’s impossible to really know another person, depending on your philosophy. Mysteries and detective stories and such give you a framework to do that within. It’s something concrete.”


Ethan Curtis, Arianna Corradi, and Joseph Bedford

Issue Guest Editor
Megan Eardley

Senior Editors
Joseph Bedford and Curt Gambetta

Trudy Watt

Laura E. Hall

Megan Eardley