On may 24, 2018, Symposion’s Firstyearcommittee presented an awesome escape room located at student association Catena. Since we’re all philosophers, the escape room just had to be an escape from the Plato’s cave. Teams consisted of about four to six students; I formed a group with Koen, Yorick, Alize, Julia, and Yannick. We were chained together and sent into a darkened room, the first of two rooms we had to puzzle our way through.

None other than Pascal  was waiting for us here. But, he had a different name in the escape room, and by looking into a set of mirrors we figured out that his name was Sage. This room, dedicated mostly to Western philosophy, involved a lot of puzzling with letters and numbers: converting 1 to A, 2 to B, etc., leading one of my group members to start numbering all the letters of the alphabet to find out what the number 26 stood for… Our group was screwing up quite a lot with the numbers, mirrors, postcards, and all else in this room, all to amusement of the Sage Pascal and the firstyearcommitte, who were observing their prisoners from behind the bar. Eventually we found a puzzle of a map, which when solved showed us the road to the East, and so we gained access to the second room.

Here, among other puzzles, a big pile of books was waiting for us, and we were given the hint to look for the light of the sun. We looked at and through everything but couldn’t find it, so that Pascal gave us another hint: a quote from The Art of War, written by … Sun Tzu. We opened the book and found clues for the next puzzle. The final two puzzles gave us the words “Symposion” and “Vivat”: Vivat Symposion. This solved the room and so we managed to escape from Plato’s cave. Sadly, we were out of time already, something that I do not recall being in Plato’s allegory of the cave!

The escape room was a lot of fun for the three philosophical groups participating: Team Sophie, Platonische Perfectie, and De Escapisten. Even though none of the teams managed to escape in time, Team Sophie performed best!

– By Yorick Voskamp