October 4, 2022

Somewhere in the evolving zeitgeist of the past few decades, video games have gotten a bad reputation. The dominant narrative is of anxious parents hovering over their dull and fading sons and daughters as they curl up in dark basements in front of dim screens. Zoom out much more, and video games have obviously fallen victim to this technobik Phones, radios, and even books would have done this before. (Do you remember learning about the controversial invention of the printing press?)

That’s why we say – forgive us –Well, Boomers. It’s time to put the tired gaming legends as zombie creators to rest and embrace the ever-growing body of work that tells us that video games can teach us valuable skills — and they can also help people work better together. So say science and experts.

Note, bosses: Group video games can be a great way to engage and enrich your colleagues, especially at a time when the real world is so personal. Bonding opportunities It may still be rare. Here’s how games can promote healthy, efficient teams, and how you can make a distributed game night.

According to science, video games can be beneficial for teams

Games are pretty much synonymous with fun. No one questions the value of a long-running poker night, the tradition of laser tag, and what have you—but what are those workouts if not the socially permissible team-building exercises? So the question is, how can team building within the confines of the game (and in a virtual environment, at that) help you perform at your best?

For example, gameplay often reflects the types of interactions that help people work together better in the first place, such as pursuing common goals, allocating shared resources, negotiating ownership of tasks, and collaborating to solve problems. Study Brigham Young University Of the 80 newly formed teams it was found that groups that played video games together for just 45 minutes were 20% more productive than those that participated in traditional team-building exercises. Notably, this was true for beginners and avid gamers alike.

Games in the workplace also provide great community building value. It’s a common sense that doing fun things with our co-workers is good for morale and that Strong personal relationships It is an important component of more effective teamwork. “Playing games with someone means interacting in a different space. You make a deal with them to move around in that space together, and you see a different side of them than you normally would in a professional setting,” Matt ParkerProfessor at the New York University Game Center.

Game scenarios often mimic common team structures as well, with each individual playing a unique role in achieving a common goal. “virtual [gaming] Communities … not only benefit from each person’s performance of their own role, but also by each person using the collective intelligence of the community to learn more about their own role and the roles of others,” says Diana Hubbard, Ph.D., in a research paper on how players work together outside of gaming environments. .

Tim Lamvier, lifelong game lover and active broadcaster Twitch, a streaming platform for gamers, agrees. “You’re constantly negotiating as a team,” he says. “I’m more of a Jack-of-all-trades captain. I’m good at strategy and team play. And then some people are better at career play of the game, so I set them up.” The bottom line, for teams in the workplace and in-game: “If you don’t work together, you lose.”

Research says gaming has positive effects on people too

In addition to those benefits at the group level, digital games can help your career on an individual level. There is plenty of evidence that playing games can enhance globally desirable skills, such as Literacy, creativity and communicationNot to mention specialized competencies like spatial reasoning (Tetris, anyone?) and general technological readiness. But playing games can also instill the ability to gain skills on your resume, so many employers want to see it, including leadership, budgeting, problem-solving, and strategic thinking.

Lampaire draws a direct line between his dedication to video games and his tendency to adapt to new concepts and situations quickly. Thanks in large part to playing games, he says, “I’m really quick to learn in general, whether it’s a sport or a language…I start kind of in the middle when I’m learning something new, and I can see how it all fits together really quickly” . Navigating in an unfamiliar virtual area (think of the battlefield of an alien planet) or solving puzzles under the pressure of time flexes those strategic muscles, and fundamentally teaches you new ways of thinking. “My cumulative knowledge is much more dynamic,” says Lampfer.

Teams that attack together, slay together: highlighting wow

with approximately 100 million players All over the world, World of Warcraft (Wow) is a type of OG MMORPG (Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game). Since its release in 2004, it has been abandoned as the most popular game in the world several times, but it is perhaps the most studied digital game from the point of view of team effectiveness.

study from Missouri University of Science and Technology found that WoW players who successfully teamed up in “blows” have traits that psychological studies have shown are associated with success in virtual workplace teams. “The more achievements you have in-game, the more you know about technology in real life. This is a good thing, especially in virtual communication teams and workplaces,” the researchers explained.

Managers, here’s how to make it happen

Are you ready for some co-op video games with your team? It can be hard to know where to begin, but we asked our guest expert on all things game-related, Matt Parker, to explain it to you.

Take into account the personalities and level of enthusiasm of the participants. Parker says, “Different people like different types of games. Not everyone will want to go through a system that is too difficult, and others will welcome the challenge. So you should choose the type of experience that appeals to your group of players the most.”

All of the recommendations below offer valuable team building capabilities (most, but not all, collaborative), and can run on devices that are accessible to everyone. You can also consider giving out Android or Apple gift cards (or credits to steama well-established marketplace for video games) to help teams facilitate team play.

Professor Parker Recordings

Between us (computerAnd the AndroidAnd the iOS)This very popular and easy-to-learn game is mostly co-op – but watch out for the crook.

tabletop (Mac, PC, iOS, Android) and board game arena (browser dependent): Each one offers a variety of board games in digital form.

Jackbox Games (Available on a variety of platforms): These “couch co-op” party games were originally intended for shared games, but can easily be played using the default chat widget. Parker in particular recommends Drawful 2, Quiplash, and Fibbage.

Spaceteam (iOS + Android): Described as a “cooperative screaming game,” Spaceteam is an accessible, fast-paced cacophony of mission-critical commands like “Set monodish monodish to six!” or “Visual Pad Extension!”

2 . overcooked (Mac + PC): Collaborate with your mates in this messy and lively cooking game.

Don’t starve together (Available on a variety of platforms): At the heavier end of the spectrum, this co-op game is particularly immersive, and also takes some time to play.

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