Why are competitive games so popular?

Young or old. Playing games competitively is not just fun and games; it gives us a platform to realize our creative skills, which often cannot be expressed during everyday life. In a competition, we can make achievements that were previously thought to be unattainable and as such, test our potential. Being in a competition, where you compare yourself to others gets you motivated to attain higher achievements. This motivation is known as the “Köhler-Effect”. This effect presumes that we generally achieve weaker results as an individual compared to being competitive in a group dynamic.

Particularly kids can benefit from competitive group games, as they become aware of their skill, which is part of developing their personality and identity. However, even adults will benefit immensely: we get the chance to escape our everyday life, albeit temporarily, to face challenges.

Which competitive group activities can you find in Vienna?

Nowadays, there are many group games available. Indoor, Outdoor, for adults or kids, or people with special abilities without, and for the ones without any prior experience.  There are many leisure activities which can be played competitively, e.g. bowling, boardgames, sports, etc. However, generally, games that supply excitement and get adrenaline pumping are more suitable for larger groups, where the competitive rivalry gets the players going in terms of motivation through comparing themselves with others. Which team reaches the goal the fastest? Which one can do it within the least amount of time?

Paintball and laser tag are great examples of this. Paintball is a tactical multiplayer game, where players mark each other with coloured pellets using air pressure guns. „Marked“ players have to leave the field right away; the „surviving“ team wins the match.

Laser tag is another similar multiplayer game, where two teams compete in a darkened maze equipped with vests and laser pointers. The goal in laser tag is, to tag the opponent as often as possible without getting hit yourself. Tagged players lose points, the team with the most points wins. In both games, teamwork, fitness, and tactical skills are key to victory.

Escape Room – The new type of leisure activity for competitive team players

If one would have to describe the escape room experience in two sentences, they would never mention physical fitness, endurance, perseverance or tactical teamplay. One would rather suggest skills, such as solving puzzles, creativity, communication and thinking outside the box. This real-life multiplayer game, where groups have to solve all puzzles as fast as possible within one hour to escape the room is not a type of sport like paintball and laser tag. However, it still succeeds in satisfying the player in a similar fashion.  

Escape Room „MONTNEZUMAS GRAB“ von Time-Busters provides rooms for competitive groups between six and twelve players. The mission in this game leads one to the legend of the last ruler of the Aztecs Montezuma (Moctezuma II). The Aztec empire dissolved in 1521 due to the Spanish Inquisition lead by Hernán Cortés after ruling for about two centuries. However, as the Aztecs believed, there’s an afterlife. In a central American pyramid, you will have to find Montezuma’s sarcophagus and the statue of eternal life. To achieve this, your team will have to complete a handful of Aztec rituals. You will be separated into two groups and play against each other. What makes this game so special is that both groups can see and hear the progress of the other group. The game is a guaranteed adrenaline shot and requires swiftness and competitiveness for 60 minutes straight.

Even with smaller groups of less than six players, you can still play against other groups in different escape rooms. There are over 20 escape room providers located in Vienna alone, which all offer different rooms featuring a diverse range of themes. Competitive groups have the opportunity to satisfy all their specific needs. There are quests with identical rooms, where you will have to solve the same puzzles, but aren’t in direct contact with the opposing group. As the challenges are identical for all teams, one should consider the experience and personal taste of the group members when deciding on a room. There are also escape room providers, which lock multiple groups in two or three rooms at once. After an hour, it is revealed which team will escape the room the fastest. If one picks a rather difficult room with a theme that does not interest the members of the group, the fun can go down the drain quickly. A unique challenge is faced when entering escape rooms with a horror genre. The participants don’t just have to solve tricky puzzles, but also need to overcome their fears and other mental weaknesses.

Simply start looking for a quest that suits your group’s taste and find out which group can solve the puzzles the fastest (without asking for any clues of course). Ultimately, having fun together is the most important aspect! Give it a try!

Autoren: Anita Moso, Lena Tegelmann