The Gift of Gaming: Welcome to the virtual office!

This week is not only Thanksgiving, but also National Games and Puzzle Week; a week dedicated to celebrating all things games and puzzles and encouraging families to spend more time together. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to relax with family, eat incredible food, and think about what you’re thankful for. Having that time off together to simply share in each other’s company is so nice, and most of the time, many a board game is played. Nothing wrong with a little bit of familial competition, right? It’s always good to get away from the screens we work behind. 

For some people, colleagues are family and platforms such as Teams and Discord provide opportunities to interact outside of the scheduled work hours, even when it’s not necessarily a festive or holiday season! 

As a remote workplace, one thing we are certainly thankful for is online communication and socialisation. Here at Word Monster, we’re very much familiar with this way of life and are aware that people do struggle remotely. That’s why we made our own Discord server, allowing us to hang out and game after hours! Discord, just like Teams, is a voice and messaging social platform where people can build and join communities based around their interests. A lot of features are geared towards video game players, but it’s also an amazing way of staying in touch with friends all over the world. It’s not just fun; it also helps us stay connected with each other by giving us the opportunity to share tips, tricks and strategies.  

Team-building activities, puzzles and card games are great for bringing people together in a relaxed environment that doesn’t even feel like work! Some companies have made gaming remotely so seamless, such as:  

Jackbox Party Packs

You don’t have to be a gamer to understand how to play Jackbox. In the right crowd, these simple party games bring warmth, laughter, and connection. 

Among Us

At its core, Among Us is a game about teamwork and social deduction, where you work together to figure out who can and can’t be trusted within the group of players.

Tabletop Simulator

It’s exactly as the name suggests, a way to create a digital tabletop and populate it with the games of your choice.

Gartic Phone

An online game that mixes Pictionary with the Telephone game – draw what you see and guess what you saw!

Games truly are amazing when it comes to socialising in remote working environments. In recent years, there have been many studies about the benefits of gaming as a workplace, and these days we’re seeing more and more companies use gaming as a tool for their employees’ wellbeing and productivity. Working in Med Comms means you spend most days talking about serious topics with like-minded professionals, and it can be hard to relax even when the workday is over. Playing games can help remove that mental barrier and allow you to feel like a child again, and nobody is more creative than a child.  

Here’s what our own Gaming Monsters had to say about why gaming helps them! 

I started gaming at a young age, but really got into it about 10 years ago when I met a group through a Twitch streamer. We all had so much in common, we became close friends and still play together every day! For me, it’s a way to turn off my busy brain and just relax; the game itself isn’t important, it’s all about the people I’m with!  – Beth (Bean) 

Although I’m not much of a gamer, nothing beats getting together with your friends and family and having a games night over a couple glasses of wine — and a takeaway of course! It’s a way to leave the troubles of the day behind and be in the moment with the people you care most about. Except when Monopoly comes out, that game changes people! – Megan 

The first person to introduce me to gaming was my mom! I would relentlessly play the same level on my PC in hopes of completing it, before caving in and asking for her help to advance to the next part. Fast forward to a few years later and I still have the same love not only for PC gaming, but also TTRPGs Such as Dungeons and Dragons too, and a plethora of board games! – Gabby (Bumble) 

We’re lovers of board and card games in our family. We find it a great way to tear the kids away from the screen and have some family time together. UNO is a strong favourite, and my daughter requests a quick game most nights before bed! – Holly (Prickle) 

Generally, I’m useless at playing games with others. I either get too competitive and scare people away (my ill-fated trip to ‘pub quiz speed dating’ in my 20s being a case in point), or I forget the rules, lose focus, or get bored. Enter my newest obsession: logic grid puzzles. This is when you use a set of clues to fill out a matrix and attempt to deduce the solution… wait, don’t go! – Laura L (Florple) 

Games and puzzle week is the perfect opportunity to get everyone together for some fun. It’s an enjoyable way to spend time with one another and make new memories. What better time to play together than during Thanksgiving break? Not to worry if you’re not from the USA, you can break out your favourite games at any point in the year. There’s no right or wrong season to get in a fight over properties in Monopoly! 😉  

Do you have a game you enjoy playing with your friends and family during the holidays? 

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