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Team Building Techniques – Explored Through Gaming

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by Startacus Admin

team building and gaming
Video games have been traditionally thought of as solitary affair, with the modern online component offering an ironic emphasis to this, with thousands of people playing alone… together. Yet more and more the video game market is embracing the local co-operative play model, expressing a vital element of what you need in a good team building exercise.

Professional events geared to build up your team are tried and tested tentpoles that will forge your workers into a deadline destroying machine, but most tents have one or team building and gamingtwo poles holding up the roof, and a lot of canvas stretched between. Video games offer very useful insight into how to stitch together that canvas. Through the lens of two established greats of the gaming world, and two lesser known downloadable titles, light can be shed on four of the most important aims of a good team building exercise.

Setting Goals

A good team knows that the goals of the individual relate towards the goals of the whole. With goals and objectives that they understand and that they can clearly reach for, individuals pull together to form a team that coalesces around a unifying and important target.

Lovers in a Dangerous Space Time (2015)

Available to download on Steam, this two player couch co-op game shows the vital importance of co-operation through the lens of distinct and different goals bringing everyone collectively to a singular objective.

In the game two players control two astronauts aboard a ship with nine separate mission stations. Four guns, one super cannon, an engine, a moveable shield, and a map station. With only two crew members, it is team building and gamingimpossible to do everything you would need to keep everyone going. Your only option is to work together on different goals, which will have to regularly shift. At one point, one player may be driving while another angles the shield. At another time, it could be all hands to the port and forward guns. Another instance may throw so many enemies your way, you can do nothing but fire the main cannon and run away. Crewman will need to know their specific goals, and workout how to pull them into line with the other party. A great way to bring people together.

Role Clarification

When everyone knows exactly what their role is, how they best perform it, and how it contributes towards the whole, a strong team can be formed. Conflict often arises when two or more people believe that a certain task is their responsibility, and toes can get trodden on if this is not treated with care.

Team Fortress Two (2007)

Available as a free download on Steam, Team Fortress Two is widely regarded as a gold standard exemplar of First Person Shooter design. With modes including everything from Deathmatch (team with most kills wins) to Payload (push a cart to a designated control area) there are many different kinds of team play to experiment with. What makes Team Fortress Two excellent from a team building perspective is the class variety, and how they synergise together with clear and defined roles. The Pyro, Engineer, Spy, Heavy Weapons, Sniper, Scout, Soldier, Demoman, and Medic, all not only offer very different ways to play, but also clearly defined roles that naturally lend to working together. The Sniper’s long-distance static style could leave him vulnerable, were it not for some artfully placed proximity mines from the Demoman, the Heavy’s enormous firepower draws a great deal of attention, so he needs healing cover from a Medic, and the Scout’s speed is a perfect to dart around the map to generate the kind of distractions that allow a disguised Spy to sneak through. An ideal way to show your team clearly defined roles working in harmony. Make sure to set up your own server separately however, as problems in the wider community are well reported.

Problem Solving

In business, as in life in general, problems abound plentifully. You will encounter many a situation where creative and cunning thinking will be needed to get around a complex set of circumstances, and the reality of the matter is that one party can rarely manage all such things alone. We like to imagine the creative moment as a single spark of brilliance burning inside an auteur mind, but the reality is much more intricate. It takes a team to solve most problems, which is something a good team can get plenty of non-mission critical practice.gaming and team building

Portal Two (2011)

When it comes to video games with a problem and puzzles at their front and centre, Portal was widely considered the modern absolute apex, with many venerable and famous video game critics citing it as the one game they simply could not find any fault with. A physics puzzle first person game where the only weapon you have is the ability to project portals onto certain types of walls, Portal Two’s enhancement to the formula was designing puzzles that required two players with two sets of portals to resolve. Communication and co-ordination will be key in any session of this game, ensuring that teams learn the language and strategies necessary to make problem solving a part of their everyday routines.

Interpersonal Relations

Many people would argue that a team does not need to be friendly to work well together. Such people would contend that as long as each person performs their work to the fullest extent of their ability, and meet all their necessary goals, the team’s construction will naturally emerge. However, such a notion treats individual team members more as mechanistic working engines than mortals with emotions. On some level or other, teams need to like each other to make the wanting to work together a key part of what they are doing. Otherwise when one person relies on another, petty bickering may motivate a less than fulsome effort.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (2015)

When it comes to forming the kind of communicative patterns that make interpersonal relations happen, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a perfect practice place. There are two players, but only one sits at the computer. The other is given a manual, and then ordered chaos ensues. The player at the computer is presented with a briefcase bomb found in the basement of a fictional building. The bomb consists of a set of modules ranging from the Hollywood “which wire do I cut” scenario, to selections of more esoteric options including Morse code, passwords, and even Simon Says colour matching games. Only with a collaborative and clear flow of information in two directions can the bomb be disarmed, and the fictional building be saved. An ideal way to foster good relations when both parties know they have to respond to every word the other says with good grace and effective speed. Just like in real life.

Science and experimentation has confirmed that team building events and out-of-office exercises are valuable columns in your start-up’s team structure. But a building of only columns quickly becomes a ruin. With practices like this sprinkled throughout your team’s calendar, a collection of employees can become a truly collaborative endeavour.


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Published on: 12th April 2019

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