What Boardgames can do for Teambuilding.

  • This is a slightly updated older article I published two years ago on LinkedIn.Whoever knows me is probably aware that I am very fond of Boardgames, and on the danger of sounding elitist I don’t mean Monopoly with this.

    I thought I’d share why I believe there are more to Boardgames and why they can be an asset in a work environment.

    For this let’s have a brief look at the history of gaming:

    Boardgames or Games which are similar have a very ancient history:

    The predecessors of chess date back to ancient India, around 250-300 CE

    But in ancient Egypt Games dating back up to 3500 BC and more have been found.

    More Recent might be the development of the Kriegspiel in 1812 as a training matter for the Prussian army, which let to H.G. Wells publishing Floor Games and Little Wars as the first Wargame rules in a commercial form in 1911 and 193, which are the predecessors of Gary Gygax infamous Dungeons and Dragons.

    Before I bore you to death, let’s continue after this very brief overview of the social implementations. The Boardgame as a children’s toy is a rather new development, as they used to be the form of entertainment before everybody could afford books or there was a TV. There are a lot of different Types and subtypes of Boardgames, ranging from Boardgame itself, with Pen and Paper Roleplaying games, through everyday dice based and Card based games, through to the so-called Tabletop games. All of these have various sub-types, which can cause avid discussions on the Internet.

    All of these always have some chance and some way of the strategy implemented. Which finally leads to my first point of interest they will give you a particular rule set and due to being played with other people a psychological and empathetic factor. All of which factor in into the goal of the game, which is winning it. So you get a certain set of rules and a particular set of laws of nature in which you have to find a solution or way to win the game

    Which is pretty obviously just picturing live itself. It also paints a pretty good picture of your daily work live. Here I dare say it does not matter which job you have, you face almost in every job difficulties and have to adhere to company policies, rules of the market, laws, and you have a certain set or sets of tools which you use in your job.

    So you are now asking why I would want to do the same thing I do every day? Well, the thing is you get to use a different set of rules and winning might be easier as well.

    But the fascinating point is you get to interact with your co-workers or friends in a competitive and fun way outside of your daily work, which can give you insight in how they function and you are bound to have a small talk while having a great time.

    Thus strengthening the relationship within your team or company, you also might get new people from other teams or parts of your company.

    Also, you should have Pizza. Don’t ask why but it is the traditional food. You have to have it.

    Now how do you get started? The best way would be if you have a Boardgame avid co-worker or employee, chances are he or she would be happy to hide part of his or her collection at work, protecting it actually from their significant other.

    But jokes aside, the best way would be to have someone bring a few Boardgames which can be introduced, you might want to go and ask in your local Games store, nearly every city has at least one if they can bring a few games on an evening and introduce them to you. There are a lot of fun games with easy rules, creative ones which can be played by several players. For example in the Picture we play Zombies!!!, the rules are actually like ten sentences and quite easy and self-explanatory. The price is around 20 U$ or Eur.

    Which brings us to the all-important cost point. A Boardgame can be surprisingly cheap, even the more expensive ones, factor in how much time you will use them, and divide that by the number of people. So let’s say you even go and spend 100 U$ for a game which you can play with 6 Players, you play it 2 hours and do that a couple of times per year lets say every two months, that’s 6 x 6 people having each time two hours of fun. So you have in the end a cost factor of 100/72 per hour per person, which adds roughly to 1.25 U$.So you will still be left with enough money for Pizza and drinks. Bit cheaper now than the last team exercise isn’t it?

    So now you found a cheap and fun way for team bonding and honing social skills, while at the same time honing analytic and logical thinking, even educating your colleagues. Now all you have left to do is get some games, order Pizza and lock your colleagues in the office with you.

    Please feel free to comment or give me feedback or if you have Questions or want tips for setting up your group.


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