Getting to know German Photonics research while hunting Dr. Dark

Getting to know German Photonics research while hunting Dr. Dark

Max Planck School of Photonics wins the Community Prize of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's "Research in Germany" initiative.

January 06, 2022

An evil scientist is planning an attack on the Physics Nobel Prize ceremony - and only you can stop him. To do that, you will have to use all your puzzle-solving skills and Photonics knowledge. Read in this article about our creative Escape Room idea which won the community prize of the BMBF.

Virtual Escape Room

Photonics enthusiasts from all over the world will soon be able to meet this challenge in our virtual "Escape Room". With this creative idea we have won the Community Prize of the "Research in Germany" initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The prize money of 20,000 euros is used to develop an online game in which players must solve tricky puzzles to stop the evil scientist Dr. Dark.

In so-called "Escape Rooms", the players are "locked" in a room in small teams. They have to solve tricky puzzles to escape in a given time. The game is framed by an exciting story - for example, the players have to unmask a murderer or defuse a bomb. In the course of the Corona pandemic, online variants of escape rooms became more and more popular. Here, players communicate via headset while they search for clues in virtual rooms.

The "Community Prize"

Our team picked up the Escape-Room trend in their competition idea for the Community Prize of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's "Research in Germany" initiative. The initiative supports German universities and research institutions in their international research marketing and helps them to raise the international awareness for top German research. The “Community Prize” is an idea competition supposed to stimulate creative marketing ideas. To enter the competition, an innovative research marketing idea had to be presented in a three-minute video pitch. Marketing managers from other research institutions then elected the winners in an online voting.

The idea of a virtual "Photonics Escape Room"

We joined the challenge and submitted our idea of a virtual puzzling game. "The top researchers of tomorrow prefer to be informed in a playful and entertaining way, rather than via classic marketing measures such as brochures," says MPSP marketing manager Dr. Anna Grimm, explaining the motivation behind the successful competition idea. With the virtual Escape Room, we want to bring photonics fans from all over the world closer to the research of the partner institutions. The puzzles come directly from our MPSP labs and the story introduces the different MPSP sites.

(Unfortunately, the pitch is only available in German)

Watch our pitch video here

(Unfortunately, the pitch is only available in German)

Implementation planned by October 2022

The idea convinced and so we were pleased to receive 20,000 euros prize money for the implementation. The development of the online game will start in January 2022 – the escape room will then be available online and free of charge to all photonics fans in the world from October 2022. Until then, our team is always happy to receive ideas for exciting photonics puzzles.

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