The comic and the tragic are well-established modes within entertainment, but what about the puzzling? Riddles may have been a chief pastime in days of yore (well, they’re featured in Oedipus and The Hobbit, anyway), but does this way of being entertained have a place in today’s age of mass media?
Improviser and podcaster Adal Rifai joins Mark, Erica, and Brian to discuss his love of escape rooms, riddles, and other opportunities for puzzlement. We discuss lateral vs. algorithmic thinking, group dynamics, comparisons to improvisation and trivia, riddle types, video games, and more. Some puzzle-relevant films we touch on include Escape Room, Cube, The Game, and Midnight Madness.
Some resources we used to prepare include:
- Adal’s podcast Hey, Riddle Riddle
- “Get Me Out of Here! Why Escape Rooms Have Become a Global Craze” by Simon Usbourne
- “Five-Year US Escape Room Industry Report” by Lisa Spira
- “Five Dead, One Injured in Polish Escape Room Fire” by David Spira
- “Solving Puzzles Satisfies The Nimble Brain” from NPR
- Wikipedia on Escape Rooms and Escape-the-Room Video Games
- TV Tropes on Stock Video Game Puzzles
After the episode, we held our usual supporters-only Aftertalk, only to decide that it was too fun not to share with you all. We conti
nue a bit on escape rooms with Adal, and then move on to podcasting, including the
parasocial relationships that listeners have with podcast hosts and ot
her entertainers. You can only hear that by visiting prettymuchpop.com or subscribing to Pretty Much Pop on your preferred podcasting app. This will not be released to the PEL podcast feed.