- Title: Czechs try to topple government in escape room game
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: PLAYER OPENING DOOR TO FIND MANNEQUIN WEARING MILITARY UNIFORM NAME BADGE ON MANNEQUIN READING (Czech): "ANDREJ BURES' SON" (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) GAME CREATOR, JOSEF DVORAK, SAYING: "The concept (of the game) is that we bring the players into an alternative future in 2023 where dictator Bures is controlling the Czech Republic. The players are the last chance for saving the Czech Republic and throwing him off the throne." WORKER AT ESCAPE ROOM OFFERING ADVICE TO PLAYERS OVER INTERCOM PLAYERS CLOSING BLIND TO REVEAL CLUE DURING GAME VARIOUS OF PLAYERS SOLVING TASK IN ESCAPE ROOM ESCAPE ROOM WORKER SITTING AT COMPUTER, WATCHING PLAYERS ON CCTV (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) GAME CREATOR, LUKAS POLA, SAYING: "Our escape game is unique because you can play it even if you don't follow politics. It covers jokes about politicians as well as a good escape line so everyone can enjoy it." MILITARY UNIFORM HANGING ON WALL PLAYER LOOKING FOR CLUE IN POCKET OF UNIFORM, TAKING IT OUT AND HANDING TO FRIEND PLAYERS USING CLUE TO OPEN SAFE TO FIND KEY INSIDE PICTURE OF FICTIONAL DICTATOR ANDREJ BURES BEHIND BARS HEAD OF FICTIONAL DICTATOR ANDREJ BURES VARIOUS OF GROUP OF PLAYERS WATCHING FAKE NEWS REPORT AS PART OF GAME PLAYER'S DOG SITTING ON FLOOR GROUP OF PLAYERS LOOKING AT LEADERBOARD LEADERBOARD OF GAME (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) GAME PLAYER, ONDREJ MATIASEK, SAYING: "This game is quite demanding and it is specific because it connects actual real affairs in society and politics with the game and we see it like a bit of prank." ESCAPE GAME ROOM WORKER TAKING PHOTO / GROUP OF PLAYERS POSING FOR PHOTO (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) GAME CREATOR, JOSEF DVORAK, SAYING: "We have seen a big similarity between the American and Czech situation where Donald Trump divides America into two - one part loves him and the other hates him. Just like our as our prime minister, Trump has been connected to a number of scandals and there are lot of unanswered questions. That's why we suppose the game might be successful also in the United States." VARIOUS OF POLITICAL SATIRE BOARD GAMES, ONE ABOUT CZECH POLITICS, THE SECOND ABOUT U.S. POLITICS
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 13:08
- Keywords: Political satire escape room Czech escape room Escape Babis game Andrej Babis Czech politics
- Location: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- City: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003AU4UTDL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Czech amateur sleuth can take out their political frustrations in an escape room where they are tasked with finding clues to topple a fictional dictator, resembling the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
Explaining the game's concept, co-creator Josef Dvorak said that the idea is that the players are the last chance of saving the country which is under the grip of a fictional dictator, Andrej Bures.
In escape rooms, players race against the clock to solve puzzles and challenges to find a way out of a locked room.
Aside from the fictional dictator's physical resemblance to Babis, 'Bures' was supposedly the cover name for the prime minister who was accused by the Slovak Nation's Memory Institute of collaborating with the communist secret police in the 1980s. In 2014 a Czech court ruled that Babis was wrongly registered as an agent.
The original idea for the game, said Dvorak, was from a satirical board game that he and his co-creator Luke Pola made. Now in its fourth month of operation, the escape room has attracted many players, many of whom do not agree with Babis' policies.
Dvorak and Pola now aim to take the U.S. market by storm with a similar game they have created called 'Trump it up'. Dvorak said that U.S. President Donald Trump, like Babis is polarising, which is why they believe their game will be a success there.
The Czech Republic has seen a series of demonstrations against Babis, who has faced investigations over alleged fraud and conflicts of interest, claims he vehemently denies.
(Production: Jiri Skacel, Louisa Naks)
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