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In the dark - not for Glasgow 'escape room' company

A Glasgow escape room company, Riddle Rooms - where teams of friends or work-colleagues must find ways to get out of a locked room in total darkness - is donating part of its proceeds to a sight loss charity.

The Dark Room in Bath Street is one of a suite of seven fun 'escape room' events created by Glasgow University graduate Zsofia Dobak and her father Andras. Other options include a Spy Room, a Mystery Room, and a haunted Mansion Room.

"Escape games are a very popular pastime in Hungary, where I come from," says Zsofia (26). "When I first came to Glasgow, I noticed that that there were no venues here, so I developed the idea while a student and then created the business here with my father."

The Room Glasgow opened in 2015 and last year The Dark Room was added to the options. "This was inspired by a similar venture we came across in Budapest called 'The Invisible Experience' which is run by blind people," explains Zsofia. "My father's grandmother and uncle were blind, they lost their eyesight in their early 20s, so we have a family involvement with sight loss."

That's why this autumn, from 1st October until 31st December, Riddle Rooms is donating £10 of every Dark Room booking to sight loss charity RNIB Scotland.

"Having a game that is fun but that also allows a bit of understanding of what it is like to live without sight, and wanting to give something to the community, gave us the idea to support the noble work of an organisation helping people with sight loss," she says. "That's how we got in touch with RNIB Scotland."

Suzanne McColl, fundraising manager for the charity, said: "It's very generous move by Zsofia to support us. A team from RNIB Scotland tried out the Dark Room and it's quite a unique experience. Hidden about the room are tactile and audio clues that let you find out how to unlock the door within an hour. You have to rely on your own touch and hearing, but also very much the team-working skills of your companions. It is as if you were blind.

"It's exciting and great fun but I think it will also give people a more personal fleeting take on just what it's like to live a life without sight."

Suzanne McColl