Delta Township District Library hosts monthly escape rooms

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Chana Kraus-Friedberg (left) and Megan McElwee (right) participate in October’s escape room held by Delta Township District Library.

Each month, the Delta Township District Library hosts their Euphorigen Investigation, an adult escape room designed to combat misinformation in the media. 

The Euphorigen Investigation escape room came from a research project at the University of Washington as a way to combat online misinformation. According to the University of Washington’s Information School website, the escape room is intended to teach participants about how to skeptically navigate information from the Internet. 

“We created an online escape room to mimic the psychological and emotional responses elicited by real-life interactions with digital misinformation,” the research group wrote. “The escape room aims to equip players with the necessary skills to identify misinformation online and become savvy, skeptical digital citizens.” 

The game employs charts, videos, puzzles, manipulated media, hidden codes and much more, to create a world in which participants must complete an investigation vital to the safety of the community. 

Players are tasked with investigating Euphorigen, a supplement for the water supply that allegedly aids brain function. Under a time limit, investigators have to determine whether or not Euphorigen is safe to consume. 

Rebecca Hruscik, Head of Adult Services at Delta Township District Library, first heard of the Euphorigen Investigation in 2020, and brought it to the library.

“[Misinformation] is something that libraries […] try to help people with, because people trust us. We have good relationships with our patrons. So, we want to make sure that we’re teaching them how to find accurate and useful information, and not just the fear that’s so present,” Hruscik said. 

In addition to overseeing the escape room’s implementation at the library, Hruscik hosts the run-throughs and guides participants at each stage. 

Megan McElwee, a Delta resident who completed the Euphorigen Investigation, enjoyed her experience with the escape room. 

“It’s very engaging, it’s not a passive thing. If there had been a seminar on digital literacy or spotting fake news, I wouldn’t really have any interest in going. But if it’s something that’s more hands-on, it was more intriguing to me. And it was definitely fun,” McElwee said. 

Chana Kraus-Friedberg joined McElwee in the investigation.

“It’s interesting because it’s intended to be teaching media literacy and I know it’s something [librarians] think about a lot. I really liked it,” Kraus-Friedberg said. 

Local residents interested in joining the next adult escape room on Nov. 9 can register for free through the Delta Township District Library’s website. 

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