Does it pay to play?
Does it pay to play?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 by Dave Blum

I recently came across this article:

“Shooting the boss (and getting paid for it)”, by Daniel Terdiman;title

It talks about a company that uses collaborative video games as a team bonding exercise.  I have to say, it’s an interesting concept and not something to dismiss.  I mean, here you have a group working together in an environment without hierarchy.    As a team bonding exercise, it’s really not not bad (albeit a bit violent).  People get to play together, solve problems, accomplish group goals, and talk about it afterwards at the water cooler.

Sounds fun.

My only concern is that organizations don’t confuse this with “teambuilding”.  Video games like this are clearly a team “recreation”, with the focus on morale boosting.   If you want this to become a true “team building”, you’d need to build some content into it…have people discuss roles, process and groundrules…and then debrief it all in relation to how all applies to your own work situation.

I’d also want to make sure that the game is truly collaborative, with the players working together against a common goal.  The last thing you want is for people to come out of the game “play” with even more animosity and divisiveness.