Bletchley’s National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), Milton Keynes, has announced the launch of an escape program, which will challenge participants to solve a series of problems inspired by the history of computer technology.
Participants must unite with their teammates to solve problems against the pressures of a stopwatch – and rival teams – in a race to reach the finish line and escape the TNMOC.
The challenges of the escape room are rooted in the museum’s unique collection. In order to collect and decipher clues and escape the museum, participants must tackle historic and retro computer technology (including paper tapes, punch cards, and floppy disks) and solve programming challenges. and cryptography.
“After 18 months of difficult limited access to the museum, we are delighted to be able to organize fun days like our Escape Room packages,” said Jacqui Garrad, Director of TNMOC. “We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from those who have tested them and we are delighted to open our escape rooms to families, large groups and anyone wishing to attend.
“We are confident that our escape rooms will appeal to even the most demanding escape room enthusiasts, with the added benefit of educating our escapees about the history of computing along the way.”
The basic option is the 90-minute Escape Room Challenge package (£ 30 per person or £ 55 for a pair). This includes a 15 minute mission briefing followed by a 75 minute challenge, themed on one of the four decades from the 1940s to the 1980s. Full admission to the TNMOC collections is included. Groups of up to eight can opt for the Escape Room Experience package (£ 70 per person) which also includes a ‘Heritage Quiz’ icebreaker, all day access to the meeting room, a buffet lunch, as well as a ” a two hour guided tour and refreshments.
Escape room packages can be purchased from the TNMOC website. The vouchers are redeemable on certain dates from January 2022.
TNMOC displays include the oldest working digital computer; the reconstructed Bomb of the type used to help crack the Enigma code, and a working Colossus Mark 2 computer. The museum is based in Block H on the Bletchley Park site, although it is run as an independent charity of the Bletchley Park Trust.
In 2017, the museum started offering virtual tours allowing historical computing enthusiasts to enjoy a 360 ° view of the museum from anywhere in the world. The virtual tour, developed by Venue View Virtual Tours, allows visitors to move around the museum using an app, inspect machines, their descriptions and zoom in on points of interest. The app also provides links to other information and videos of the machines in action, such as when the oldest working computer (the Harwell Dekatron, aka WITCH) was restarted after its restoration in 2012.
Virtual tours have more recently been promoted as a safe alternative for Covid to in-person tours.
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