┇ Event Planning

You need games for your next event

There's a reason that everyone loves games

By: Richard Kim
Tags: event experience, gamification, meeting planner

You arrive at the venue and settle down into the nearest seat. A strapping young man, a caffeine shot in the flesh, in a branded t-shirt yells into a handheld microphone:

Welcome everyone! Before we get started, let's play a little game!

Which attendee are you?

  • Can we not… I hate icebreaker games.
  • I'm getting too old for this s**t…
  • If I have to…
  • How do we play and what do we win?
  • YAAAAASSSS. Someone hold my coffee--I'm going in.

​Of course, your response depends heavily on the crowd you're about to engage with, but everyone has a gut reaction to the phrase "social games."

Large Crowd Anxiety

I'm just bad at networking and large crowds

If talking strangers up at a bar or cocktail reception is not your forte, in some cases, a good social game may grease the wheels of interaction better than a glass of wine. Before you raise your cocktail forks in protest, consider the following: if you can game through the awkwardness in the beginning of the day, how much more productive and creative will everyone be for the rest of it?

Feel Left Out

I played one before and didn't have a good experience

A well-designed social game might be just what you need to help you get over this first impression. Experienced designers are aware of the wide variety in player behavior and common pitfalls that may ruin the group experience. From alpha players who say and do too much to omega players who say and do too little, clever design can provide the right incentives and constraints for even large groups to enjoy themselves. ​

Behind every historian is a life-changing history teacher. Behind every gamer is a meaningful experience with a game.

No Fun for Me From Hark, A Vagrant:309

Games are not for me a.k.a. I'm getting too old for this sh*t

Clark C Abt in Serious Games wrote

Reduced to its formal essence, a game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context.

In other words, games, in their purest form, stimulate parts of the brain that align perfectly with common, human experiences: making little decisions within a certain environment for a greater purpose. In existential terms, games are an exercise in finding meaning in the little things. You can never be too old for this sh*t.

We've heard someone say that if you don't like wine, you just haven't found the right wine yet. We think the same goes for games.

​Games do not replace a good conversation over a glass of Cabernet at the end of a long day. But you can't do that at 8 in the morning (one would assume…) Games are the perfect complement to breakfast, to help you get the kinks out of your shoulders and out of the awkward 'hello' and 'what do you do?'.

There is no better way to bond in a short period of time than having fun.

​We had the privilege of having MeetMaxGames give us a presentation of their games and their design philosophy revolves around establishing an environment of fun for everyone. Equal parts cooperative and competitive, the games over at MeetMaxGames inspired this very blog post.

​Check them out at meetmaxgames.com!

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