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Valley Nights hosts virtual escape room

Valley Nights hosted a virtual escape room through Zoom breakout rooms and individual website links. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

SVSU’s Valley Nights hosted a virtual escape room event for students on Oct. 15.

Jason Schoenmeyer, the associate dean of Student Life, said Valley Nights has hosted various virtual events this semester that have been a big hit with students.

“(Valley Nights) had a great reaction to Virtual Drag Queen bin- go a few weeks ago, so we want- ed to offer another virtual event hosted by an outside company,” Schoenmeyer said.

Valley Nights has put on es- cape room events in the past, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person rooms were not a possibility this semester.

“The virtual option was similar in that groups would sign up for a timeslot and be able to participate with friends,” Schoenmeyer said. “The difference is it was all hosted virtually.”

Despite the pandemic, Valley Nights is dedicated to providing fun, yet safe, activities for the student body to take part in, he said.

“Valley Nights put on this event because, even though things are hectic right now, we still want to provide interactive and fun events for students while still keeping everyone safe,” said Andrew Giglio, the coordinator for Valley Nights. “By using a virtual event, students are still able to make friends and connections while still remaining safe and healthy.”

The virtual escape room had a murder mystery theme, in which a local crime boss had hired the player to identify two shooters who committed a crime at his club. The player had to help him get revenge before the police found out.

Since the event was run virtually rather than in-person, it was carried out a bit differently than escape rooms hosted on campus in the past, Giglio explained.

“There were basically hosts in each Zoom room, making sure you’re staying on track with the objectives that you have 60 minutes to finish,” Giglio said.

Students were able to sign up with a group of up to 10 friends. They were also all able to participate via their own laptops to ensure that each person got to check off their objectives for the game.

Students who signed up individually were put into teams with other people. There was enough room for 500 players overall to participate over the course of the event.

About 15 separate Zoom rooms were set up so that students could solve the murder mystery with their respective teams. Each group was given 60 minutes to complete the escape room.

Another murder mystery puzzle is set to be put on by Valley Nights later this semester.

“We’ll be hosting a similar event called a Virtual Hollywood Murder Mystery,” Giglio said. “This event will obviously be held virtually and run similarly.”

Students should also keep a look out for other events that Valley Nights plans on hosting this semester.

“We currently have two other events under works,” Giglio said. “We’re working on a mental health awareness collaboration with Active Minds and Program Board, where there will be several giveaways. This will be Nov. 12. Finally, we plan on doing a shirt tie-dye event on Nov. 19 in collaboration with Program Board.”

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