Pretty Much Pop #34: Escape Rooms and Other Puzzlers w/ Adal Rifai (Plus Bonus Aftertalk)

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:

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 or subscribing to Pretty Much Pop on your preferred podcasting app. This will not be released to the PEL podcast feed.

Adal’s two other podcasts are Hello From the Magic Tavern and Siblings Pecular. Follow him @adalrifai. He performs regularly on Whirled News Tonight at Chicago’s IO Theater.

This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by

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