Updated: Feb 26
There are so many games to choose from. But which ones are really worth the effort? Of course, being the Happy Scrum Master, I have quite a few favourites which I'm more than happy to share with you…
And then the corona crisis came along and getting together to play games became … well… impossible, really. There I was, just having landed a new client and eager to get started. I was so glad my BFG had already decided to take a week off to support me, because it was quite a challenge, to be honest. I really had to rethink all my sessions but I can proudly say that I’ve managed to find a way to Play Online. All my reinvented sessions, so far, have been a raving success!
I’m also so very proud and feel so incredibly blessed to be part of such a vibrant community that really went above and beyond to find new online ways of getting together and continue to share information and solutions. I haven’t had time to get bored, I’ve been so busy participating in all these wonderful online events. I’ve even been asked to create Scrum Facilitators Vlogs on online virtual energisers. How cool is that!
…This month, we’ll be playing online and I’ve decided to not simply share one game but four! These are my favourite energizers to get everybody going while working from home.
This month we’ll be playing: OFFICE TWISTER, ROLLER COASTER RIDE, DRAWN TOGETHER, and WHO IS IT?
It’s always a challenge to make sure all participants are comfortable playing together. As a Facilitator I al
ways have to make sure that the more quiet ones also get their moment to shine or that the more excited participants don’t wander off when we’re playing something that requires more thought and less jumping up and down. When working in a group, I can usually spot the ones I need to keep an eye on straightaway. But online? Keeping track of all those tiny squares and being able to see people’s expressions in them is so much more difficult. Which is why I try to create a balance between what I like to think of as Extraverted Craziness Games and Introverted Creativeness Games. In this blog, I’ll be sharing two of each.
I use Extraverted Craziness Games to make sure everybody is awake and ready to participate. Especially when everybody is sitting behind their screens it’s important to get some action in and move about every now and then.
Office Twister: Twister must be one of the most physical contact games I know. So how on earth are you going to play that online? Without touching each other? Impossible, right? Think again! Of course you can play Twister without having to touch a single other person.
When it’s your turn, you get to decide the colour and the body part based on what you see in your direct vicinity. So, if you have a red sweater on, you might say: ‘Left hand, red’ and touch your sweater with your left hand. All the other participants have to try to do the same to the best of their abilities. So, they may not be wearing a red sweater but might have a red pen. Or… maybe they have a red cat… which if you’re being honest is orange but that doesn’t matter. Reddish is fine, too.
And the fun thing is, you don’t have to limit yourself to the four basic colours usually used in Twister. You can decide to use any colour to be found near you. Pink, purple, grey, that sort of ‘sea greenish blue colour’ of your favourite mug. Anything goes. And why limit yourself to colours? You can decide to use materials too! So, nose - touch wood. Why not?
The most difficult thing is to try and stay in view of the camera while you’re doing the requested action so others can see. So, make sure you don’t fall off your chair because well…. If we can’t see it, it didn’t happen.
Roller Coaster Ride: This one is perfect to get rid of the after lunch dip. It’s short and very effective. As Facilitator, I take the first turn sitting in the front row cart to get people going. Usually two or three rounds are all that’s needed. How do you play it? It’s simple, imagine you’re all sitting in a roller coaster together and…… away we go!!!
Not everybody is up for a rollercoaster ride. Some people feel ridiculous sitting behind their desk while screaming their heads off. And that’s OK. That’s why I like to create a balance so that everybody feels comfortable. The Introverted Creativeness Games are a perfect way to provide a creativity boost or to create a safe atmosphere.
Drawn together: This is the best way to prepare for a brainstorm session. It’s based on 30 Circles and it’s a real creativity boost. It’s designed to help participants think outside of the box and outside of the circle. :-)
Normally, I would hand out the 30 Circle template and pens and tell the participants to get cracking. Now, I’ll ask them to draw the circles or squares or triangles, or whatever they prefer, themselves first before I explain the rules of the game. It’s always interesting to see who sticks to the brief and who decides to break the rules and get creative.
Who is it?: This game is perfect for a large group. It is a very safe game that helps people to get used to these great mosaics of small screens when participating in online meetings. How do you play it? You guessed it! All the participants will represent the figures on the Who is it?-board. One of the participants selects a person to be ‘It’. Then the other participants take turns asking questions. For instance, is this person wearing glasses? If the answer is ‘yes’, all the participants not wearing glasses turn off their camera. And slowly but surely, your screen will go black until only one small screen is left.
This allows everybody to get used to having to look at all those screens and get a general idea of who’s who and where to find them. Because you tend to start looking for the face that goes with the voice you hear coming out of your speaker. So, this is a really good game to start a session and make sure everybody’s comfortable.
I’ll admit that playing in a group and playing online are two completely different things but I’m so glad that we have access to all these online opportunities to interact with each other. Where would we be without them? Then this lockdown would really suck big time!
Stay safe and let’s play some games!