- Title: Czechs try to topple government in escape room game
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (AUGUST 27, 2019) (REUTERS) GROUP PLAYING ESCAPE ROOM GAME ENTERING ROOM, ALARM RINGING VARIOUS OF GROUP ENTERING ROOM, SEEN ON SCREEN OF CCTV CAMERA PLAYERS COMPLETING TASK IN ROOM TO TURN OFF ALARM, LAUGHING SIGN ON WALL READING "AGROFUHRERT" (WORD PLAY OF NAME OF CZECH PRIME MINISTER ANDREJ BABIS' COMPANY 'AGROFERT') POSTER ON WALL READING (Czech): "CATCH BURES" (FICTIONAL DICTATOR IN GAME, BEARING A RESEMBLANCE TO BABIS) PLAYERS SOLVING TASK WITH GLASSES STUCK TO COASTERS
- 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: LVA001AU4UTDL
- 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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