Parkinson’s NSW simulates the symptoms of the disease in a ‘No Escape Room’

Parkinson’s NSW created a ‘No Escape Room’ which simulated what life is like for people living with the disease.

Participants that entered the room faced a number of puzzles to retrieve the keys to the exit. Each challenge reflected the symptoms and challenges of the disease. Untying wired shoelaces reflected stiffness and reduced fine motor skills, pouring tea into a shaking cup represented the physical tremors, and a magic eye puzzle conveyed the symptom of reduced vision.

The escape room was created to shift the misconception that Parkinson’s is a disease that only affects the elderly. Participants are confronted with the statistic that five Australians under the age of 40 are diagnosed with Parkinson’s a day.

The experience, created by Wunderman Thompson and Airbag, began with a callout over Facebook to attract Australia’s biggest escape room enthusiasts to trial a new escape room.

Simon Langley, Wunderman Thompson’s national chief creative officer, said: “Living with the daily challenges that come with Parkinson’s is something many of us can’t imagine. For those people, it’s a reality they can’t escape – one we wanted Australians to experience first hand. It has been a great experience working with Parkinson’s NSW on this project.”

An interactive digital version of the No Escape Room has also been released, simulating the feeling of being inside the escape room with a 360-degree experience.

Jo-Anne Reeves, CEO of Parkinson’s NSW, said: “For people living with Parkinson’s, there is no escape from their symptoms. They often feel like they can’t escape the challenges associated with day-to-day activities and movements such as pouring a cup of tea or tying a shoelace. We understand this can be hard to relate to, which is why we have launched this campaign, to allow Australians to step directly into the shoes of a person living with Parkinson’s.”

Airbag managing partner, Adrian Bosich, added: “We’ve appreciated the opportunity to design and film this exercise in empathy – to find a way for the participants and broader film audience alike to understand some of the challenges those with Parkinson’s face every day.”


Parkinson’s NSW 
Jo-Anne Reeves CEO
Mirelle Brockett, Marketing and Digital Manager

Wunderman Thompson
Simon Langley, National Chief Creative Officer
Steve Hey, Creative Group Head
Simon Koay, Senior Art Director
Ana Lynch, Partner
Rebekah O’Grady, Engagement Manager
Gabe Hammond, Senior Producer
Chloe Marshall, Integrated Producer
Kel Gronow, Editor
Frank Martelli, Creative Director
Marvin Cheung, Senior UI Designer
Ryville Ochoa, Delivery Lead
Joseph Campbell, Senior Developer
Koji Yajima, UI Designer

Production Company – AIRBAG 
Will Horne, Director
Adrian Bosich, Managing Partner
Alex Tizzard, Exec Producer
Megan Ayers, Producer
Zach Peel McGregor, DP
Sam Lukins, Art Director
Steven Nicholson, Head of Creative Technology
Dan Macnish, Creative Technologist

Julia Lahav, Account Director
Chloe Peel, Account Manager
Georgia Neville, Account executive

Sound Studio
Song Zu


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