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5 Video Games To Encourage Creativity in the Workplace

Woman playing a video game

You can’t just ask employees to be creative. You have to give them a method and a time to do it. Bringing gaming into your workplace can encourage fresh thinking and innovation. Fast, challenging, engaging. And it’s fun—at work.

Choose games that make people think in new ways

Look for games that involve the video game attributes of innovation, crafting and strategy, as those will naturally lead to more discussion and brainstorming among team members in the workplace.

Almost any video game will do for these purposes, but the games that may be the most effective are ones that encourage creativity and strategic thinking. You don’t have to pick a multiplayer game; single player games can also stimulate creativity at work.

Here are five games for you to check out:

1. Minecraft involves crafting, strategy and innovation and can be played in a single player or multiplayer mode. It’s a “sandbox” game, meaning you can build virtually anything you want in the game (and it can be knocked down by other players). Minecraft can give your employees insight into the way they structure their creative process, and they can take the lessons they learn in-game back into the real world at work.

2. Portal 2 is a good game for teams of two to play. While navigating a lab as a pair of robots, you have to learn how to communicate effectively to solve puzzles and how to think creatively to come up with the answers to problems quickly. Portal 2‘s tough puzzles can lead to brainstorming ways to get through a level, which can lead to better communication between team members.

3. Tetris is the game for people who say they aren’t gaming people. Nearly everyone has played a game of Tetris before, whether they consider themselves a gamer or not. This can be the game that unites your staff as they work together to stack blocks on the screen. A few games of Tetris can begin and end quickly, so this particular gaming session won’t take too much time out of the workday but can provide a nice mental break for your employees.

4. Jackbox Party Pack 7 games are meant to be played with multiple people and are another good option for employees who might not be into gaming. People can practice their public speaking skills in a low-stakes setting by playing the “Talking Points” mini game, or they can flex their creative thinking skills by playing “Blather ‘Round,” a game where players creatively explain pop culture phenomena to their fellow employees.

5. StarCraft II is a serious real-time strategy game that is as fun as it is addictive. You play as aliens fighting for resources on a planet. Your employees will have to keep at least one step ahead of their opponents and make a lot of quick decisions on their feet. The game is a good way to encourage quick thinking and creativity. StarCraft II is available for single player and co-op play modes.

How to encourage participation

You can try to promote game playing across departments in the workplace to help employees get to know each other better and encourage discussion about things related to work. For example, your Diversity team can hold a game day to bond and then brainstorm ideas for the workplace diversity program. Your Customer Care team can play together and then gather up for a strategy meeting while their minds are still in creative mode.

Coming up with fresh new ideas and creative ways to bring them to life is how you make your business better. Try gaming as a new way to inspire your employees.

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