x-games custom activation

U.S. Food and drug administration

Aspen, Colorado & Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA



The ETZEL Agency requested a custom escape room activation for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at the 2019 X-Games in Aspen, Colorado.

With 3 out of 4 teens never successfully quitting smoking, the FDA wanted to create an experience that spoke to that powerful statistic in a way that was engaging and impactful. We therefore crafted a narrative and unique escape room format where 4 participants would enter into identical rooms with only 1 being able to emerge as the winner.

Working with the team at the Winter X-Games was an awesome, easy experience. We came to them with a general idea our client had of building out a temporary escape room, and they came back to us within a week with a broad design and implementation plan. I would recommend working with them not only for projects that directly involve an escape room but also for any project that requires a multi-step interaction.

– Jack Rizzi, Account Coordinator at ETZEL Agency



The design process for the interactive escape simulator involved conceptualizing a thought-provoking experience that reframed smoking addiction for teens using custom props and gamification elements to engage participants.


The production phase included fabricating custom props, integrating gamification elements, developing a digital and operator control systems that focused on engaging teens in the conversation around smoking addiction and could be easily deployed.


During the implementation phase, the focus was on executing swift setup and teardown processes and providing a comprehensive operator manual that ensured a seamless and efficient deployment of the anti-smoking initiative for teens.


For every at-risk teen prevented from becoming a smoker, $181,000 is saved in future medical costs. By reframing the addiction of smoking by transporting teens into an interactive labyrinth from which only one can escape, the serious and boring message of dissuading teens from smoking became an enjoyable experience with a more impactful and meaningful message that resonated with the participants.

The attraction was experienced by hundreds of participants over 4 winter and summer X-Games.


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Even campaigns with difficult messages can have a positive impact on audiences through engaging interactive experiences that are thought-provoking and motivational. We can turn any message into a fun experience. 



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