I was clicking along in the land of random nodeshells (again) when I happened upon "claustrophilia" and thought to myself, "Is that seriously a thing?"

When you break down the word you get "claustro," which is Latin for small spaces, and "philia," which is Greek for to love, so when combined, it means someone who loves confined spaces. That makes perfect sense, but what didn't make sense to me when I first saw this term was how this fit into a sexual context. For some reason, when my brain sees "philia," it automatically connects it to sex things. (And apparently I'm not the only one: when I clicked on the nodeshell to investigate further, about 50% of the links at the bottom had something to do with sex, so at least I'm not alone in that respect). So of course I had to do some Googling to see if it actually was a kink thing (because I have this insane sense of curiosity that must be appeased) and what I found was pretty cool. (But it wasn't about sex, so if that's what you're here for you might as well stop reading, because I didn't actually make any progress on that particular inquiry).

Apparently "Claustrophilia" is also the name of a very popular tourist attraction in Budapest. It is a live action game in which the players must escape from rooms by solving puzzles. Claustrophilia was started in 2013 by Viktor Oszvald, who conceived the idea while working in a horror-themed party that was being held in a factory and fantasizing about ways of escaping it. According to the Claustrophilia website, there are two different puzzle stories that teams of people can sign up for: a puzzle based on the fictional Lord Wickelwood, an Indiana Jones-type who turned his apartment into a maze for those looking for adventure, and a puzzle that challenges the contestant to make their way through a temple in order to prevent the death of a Voodoo priestess and save the world.

Now I've never actually been to this place (I've hardly left the state of Pennsylvania, let alone the continental United States) so I can't say how fun or exciting these games are, but they seem like they would be a hoot and a half from what I read on their site. There are other versions of these room escape games that are popular in Europe such as ParaPark, which is also in Budapest, but was founded two years before Claustrophilia and has a decidedly creepier tone. (Think "Saw", which is one of the reasons I would definitely not be partaking in that game if I were somehow in Budapest). The puzzles at Claustrophilia seem like they are there to give you an adrenaline rush by making you race the clock and test your mind, but they aren't meant to scare the bejesus out of you, so that's a plus in my book. (Because I'm a weenie who gets scared easily).

And that's it, that's what I found when I delved into the depths of Google in order to slake my curiosity about the word "claustrophilia". I realize now that I never actually answered my original question, but perhaps that's for the best, who knows what strange things I would've stumbled upon while trying to figure that one out using the internet.



Claustrophilia's website (English version): http://claustrophilia.hu/en/index.html

ParaPark's website (English version, at least I think so): http://www.parapark.hu/index.php?page=home&lang_id=eng