You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

WGBH to Stream Escape Room Challenge With The Skorys on Twitch

Boston’s public broadcaster WGBH is trying out a new way to bring science programming to young audiences: The station’s Emerging Platforms Initiative is set to broadcast a space-themed escape room challenge, dubbed the Escape Lab, on Twitch this coming Monday. The one-hour challenge will be tackled by well-known YouTube family The Skorys, who will be counting on help from the Twitch audience to make it out of the escape room.

The Escape Lab story is set in a futuristic space station orbiting Mars, and will unfold over the course of one hour starting at 4 p.m. PT Monday. The challenge will be hosted by Justin Shaifer, the founder and executive director of Fascinate, an initiative to bring Stem education to underrepresented communities.

escape lab challenge

Trapology’s Tina Wood building one of the puzzles inside the Escape Lab.

WGBH consulted with NASA for this project, and worked with escape room design company Trapology to create the actual challenges. WGBH’s director of social media Tory Starr told Variety during a recent conversation that the idea was to find challenges that work well in a broadcast scenario. This meant ditching small locks and puzzles that can’t be deciphered on-screen. “We really worked with Trapology to design it for the viewer,” she said.

Throughout the challenge, the Skorys will ask their audience to solve math puzzles, check factoids and deal with unforeseen surprises. “We are throwing a couple of curveballs at them,” Starr said. “We are testing a lot of different things with this pilot.”

WGBH escape lab set

Part of the Escape Lab set.

WGBH build the escape room set for this Twitch live stream in its studio in Boston, and already gave the Twitch audience a couple of sneak peeks during multiple live streams leading up to the event. The station may be producing additional content, as well as invite local members, over the next 2 weeks. Starr said that her team is also already thinking about future escape room live streams, perhaps around topics like forensics and chemistry.

WGBH escape room live stream

The broadcaster started its Emerging Platforms Initiative earlier this year to explore social video from Twitch to Instagram as a way to become relevant to teens and young adults. “People love PBS as kids. And then we lose them,” said Starr. Most public broadcasting viewers would only rejoin the flock as adults, leaving an entire generation out of reach. “We are really making a bet in introducing ourselves to a new audience,” she said.

The initiative is scheduled to last 3 years, which WGBH also wants to use to share knowledge about best practices with the broader public media ecosystem. Said Star: “We want to become the experts for social video.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • The Simpsons

    Disney Plus Will Make 'The Simpsons' Available in Original Uncropped Format in Early 2020

    Eep! After an outcry from “The Simpsons” aficionados, Disney has decided to offer classic episodes of the iconic animated sitcom on Disney Plus in their original 4-by-3 aspect ratio early next year. The streaming service launched Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands with the full batch of “Simpsons” episodes in 16-by-9 HD [...]

  • Verizon Stream TV

    Stream TV Review: Verizon’s New Streaming Device Is One Odd Duck

    Verizon has an answer to Roku, but it’s not talking much about it: The mobile carrier quietly released a new streaming device this week that promises to bring services like HBO, Hulu and YouTube to your TV. Dubbed Stream TV, the device is a solid streamer based on Google’s Android TV platform, albeit with a [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hiking Price of Live TV Service 22%, to $55 per Month

    Hulu is implementing its second price increase in less than a year for its Hulu With Live TV product — with the base package of 60-plus live channels increasing 22%, to $54.99 per month. The price hike on the monthly base price of Hulu With Live TV will go into effect Dec. 18 for all [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV

    Hulu Live TV Tops Sling TV as No. 1 Streaming Pay-TV Service, Analysts Estimate

    Hulu With Live TV has edged out Dish Network’s Sling TV to take the crown as the biggest virtual pay-television service in the U.S., according to new analyst estimates. They were among the only winners amid the cord-cutting carnage that slashed through the sector in the third quarter. As of the end of the third [...]

  • Mubi India

    Mubi Launches Two VoD Channels in India

    Film specialist streaming platform Mubi launched on Friday in India with two channels, Mubi India and Mubi World. The channels are available together for an introductory offer of INR 199 ($2.75) for three months. Thereafter the channels will cost INR 499 ($7) a month or INR 4788 ($66.75) annually. For Mubi India, a channel dedicated [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content