In August 2021, a collective of escape room creators, reviewers, and enthusiasts will converge in Boston for Reality Escape Convention (RECON), a two-day long convention dedicated to the escape room industry hosted by a team of industry leaders. The event promises carefully curated talks from a list of industry leaders, followed by interactive discussion groups with attendees to connect with the community, with early bird tickets priced at $300. The team is headed up by the Room Escape Artist blog, which has previously arranged for a series of Escape, Immerse, Explore escape room tours.
The Reality Escape Convention may be coming to Boston next year, but the wait for RECON content is much shorter. Next week, from Sunday August 23rd to Monday August 24th, the RECON team will be putting on a virtual version of their conference. For free. While the convention originally planned on holding their inaugural Boston con in 2020, they postponed for a year out of consideration for the safety of attendees. However, recognizing that the unprecedented challenges the escape room industry is facing is exactly the right time to assemble the escape room community to connect and share knowledge, the team pivoted to a free virtual convention to help facilitate the sharing of knowledge to set the stage for next year and beyond.
Registration for RECON Global remains open, and over 500 people have already expressed interest in conducting some virtual RECONnaissance in the coming week.
The event is focused on escape rooms, so the lineup is unsurprisingly filled with escape room creators (including Strange Bird Immersive, whose immersive theater / escape room mashup The Man From Beyond was previously covered here at ARGNet). However, the full speaker list approaches the subject from a variety of angles, including:
- Lisa and David Spira, owners of Room Escape Artist;
- Manda Whitney, co-host of the Room Escape Divas podcast;
- David Kwong, cruciverbalist/magician and creator of crossword magic show The Enigmatist;
- Sweet Baby Inc, a team of video game developers;
- Test Subjects, a team of escape room constructors and magicians;
- Hillary Manning and Aaron Gold, New York area escape room cluemasters;
- Sera Dodd, an escape room enthusiast who has tackled over 1,500 rooms; and
- an international panel of escape room reviewers.
While it’s possible to watch the convention on the RECON website without registering, that extra (still free) step grants access to the Discord server, which is intended to serve as the hub for the socializing and networking that lies at the heart of RECON. In addition to creating a space to chat with virtual exhibitors and engage in escape room adjacent conversations, five of the RECON talks will be followed by facilitated video chat conversations on the platform among small groups of attendees.
If that wasn’t enough for a completely free event, there also might be a secret ARG running that requires some additional Discord-fueled advanced RECON. Oh, and the con swag might also be hiding an inspirational message in the logo.
Note: I will be volunteering to help facilitate some of the RECON discussion sessions, but know nothing about the secret ARG.