Research shows: playtime is productive!

 What makes some teams flourish while others flop? Google’s extensive research on the subject has found the magic ingredient to teamwork success, and The Go Game knows how to mix it into your workplace.

According to Google, the best teams have what Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson calls psychological safety. This term describes a group culture in which members feel at ease taking risks. It is the shared belief that members will not be embarrassed, rejected, or punished for speaking up. Sounds nice, right? Studies (and common sense) show that teams can develop this crucial element with some good old-fashioned playtime.

 

Groups are more productive when members feel safe and supported in their work environment. Instead of hiding their mistakes, psychologically safe teams greet mistakes as learning opportunities. Team meetings feel relaxed and energizing. People interject and build off each other’s ideas. When someone goes off on a tangent, the rest of the group follows along the new train of thought. Meetings start and end by naturally sliding into casual chitchat. All this may not sound like the model for high productivity and success, but it is. In markets that increasingly rely on creative ideas and innovative approaches, a psychologically safe team is not only happier; it’s also more productive. When an environment encourages people to take risks, creativity is free to manifest.

A surefire way to develop a psychologically safe workplace is through… play! Play has a positive impact for all the reasons you would expect. When people work together towards a common goal while having fun, they establish positive group norms that will transfer back to the workplace. Most importantly, playing with others has been scientifically proven to increase empathy between teammates. Psychologist Jeff Mogul found that just 15 minutes of playing rock band with a total stranger makes you feel empathy towards them. This is significant because empathy is at the root of psychological safety. Google’s research shows that in the best teams — the psychologically safe teams — people listen to each other and are emotionally sensitive to their teammates. So if just 15 minutes of rock band can make complete strangers let down their emotional guard, imagine what hours of wacky collaborative team challenges can do.

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Big news! The Go Game acquired CLASH!

Big news folks! This May, The Go Game acquired CLASH

CLASH has been running wildly entertaining scavenger hunts in San Francisco, New York and Puerto Rico since 2012, and we’re beyond excited to have agreed to terms. 

We look forward to providing awesome, high energy team building events for CLASH’s impressive list of clients. We will offer the traditional CLASH hunts alongside all our Go Game offerings. So if you’ve played CLASH, and still want more neon headbands, loud pants and insane street theatre, we’ve got you covered.

TGG and CLASH, united by a common love of crazy shenanigans in the name of employee bonding, look forward to many years of prosperous Scavenger Hunting! 

Why is Play So Important?!

Our allies at NPR and TED talks have compiled a solid collection of episodes about PLAY and its power to change us, including Go Game alum Jane McGonigal. Take a listen!

Empathy, spectacle, learning, development — can all improve through game play. Do you know of other fascinating studies about games? Send ’em our way!

Daybreakers Loves The Go Game – Hungry Hungry Hipsters

Thanks to DayBreakers for inviting The Go Game to produce a version of Hungry Hungry Hippose we called Hungry Hungry Hipsters.  This one was at Macy’s in San Francisco for their insanely fun Holiday Party. 

The Go Game in Panama at Kalu Yala

Over New Years, Finn Kelly went down to Kalu Yala, an eco resort in central Panama.  Here, we staged a unique slow game for many of the participants. There was no connectivity, but that was not a problem for our software as the game can run in offline mode as well.  Teams giggled and competed for an hour before engaging in a stimulating discussion on the merits of play and the various tools we use to deliver our brand of fun.  Here’s a few of the photos. 

Partnership for 2016: Camp Grounded!

At The Go Game, we’re all about bringing more playfulness to the adult world and using it to forge more meaningful, memorable connections.

That’s why we love Camp Grounded — because they bring adults together to unplug, play and reconnect. All in a beautiful setting with amazing programming.

This year, we’re partnering with Camp Grounded again to help produce an epic day of Color Wars at each and every camp this summer.

During Color Wars, players are divided into either two or four teams- blue, red, yellow, or green- where they compete in contests, games, and relay races for points awarded from our very official judges. We’re talking sock wrestling, book balancing, pie eating and other ridiculous competitions.

The first round of contests is performed on a large field where all the teams can come together. After everyone has roared their cheers and sized each other up, the teams are split up into different stations to compete in smaller events. These can include dodgeball, a scavenger hunt, even something as mellow as puzzle-making. There’s something for everyone!

The Color Wars finale is an outrageous demonstration of human absurdity. Volunteers from each team compete head-to-head to do a variety of things you’ve never imagined since you watched Double Dare on Nickelodean. (For anyone not born between 1980-1990, you can check this reference here).

If you can make it to one of the sessions, come play with us. Check out the dates/locations on their site!

Adventures in VR

Last week, our own Jenny Gottstein had the opportunity to participate in Virtually Dead, a zombie-themed experience in East London that combines virtual reality and immersive theater for an all-out adrenaline filled adventure. Virtually Dead brings participants to an undisclosed location and drops them in the wake of a viral epidemic, ready to begin “training” to become zombie killers. 

Using a combination of live actors, high production special effects and set design, and VR headsets, Virtually Dead is making waves in the world of experience design. They’re not the only ones with VR on the mind; as it becomes more and more ubiquitous, experience designers everywhere will soon be presented with the question of how and whether to integrate it into their projects. Industrial Light & Magic’s xLab is another example of designers venturing into the world of VR and AR, focusing on Star Wars centric immersive story experiences.

Have you had the chance to experience VR in immersive design, gaming, or theater? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

Also, if you’re interested in experience design and immersive storytelling, come join us at the next Adventure Design Group on April 8th at the Go Game headquarters for a chance to talk with like-minded creative folk doing big things in the world of technology and art. See you there! 

Secret Agents Needed!

The Go Game is coming to Japan, and we’re looking for actors to work in one of our high-tech, high-energy games we’re running on January 22nd in Nagoya.

While you don’t necessarily need to be professionally trained, we DO require our actors to be fun, outgoing, reliable, punctual, comfortable interacting with strangers, and willing to look silly in public.  Roles include Batman, undercover street musicians, spies, bawling brides, pirates, sad cowboys, and many more!  The idea is that you are planted in the game zone as a secret agent for teams to find and interact with.  You might have a task, a clue, a password, or a story for teams as they go about their adventure.  Whatever it is, your job is to make sure the players have fun, and we guarantee you’ll have fun too.  For more information on the Go Game in general, visit our website at www.thegogame.com.


If you’re available for our upcoming game, please go to the ‘jobs’ area of our website (http://thegogame.com/team-building/jobs/actor), and fill out an actor profile thoroughly.  We use these profiles to make our casting decisions, so the more information you give us about your skills, acting background, and costumes, the better!  Please include at least one, if not more, recent pictures of yourself.   AFTER you have filled out a plant profile, email jenny@thegogame.com to let us know you’re available and have completed a profile.  I’ll get back to you within a day as to whether you’ve been cast in our game.


Date: January 22nd

Location: Nagoya Japan

Time: 1-4pm

Thanks in advance!


http://thegogame.com/team-building/jobs/actor

Pogo Park Fundraiser Success!

In October we were honored to host the first annual Pogo Park Go Game — a fundraiser for Pogo Park, an incredible Richmond CA-based organization that revitalizes public play spaces for local children. The list of companies that signed up to play was impressive, and their energy and creativity was something to behold. 100% their entry fees went to support Pogo Park. Together we raised $20K! Teams got to bond, play, eat and drink. Pogo got much needed funding to support their core admin staff.

Interested in playing next year? We’re going to blow the doors off this event in 2016, so keep an ear out for sign-ups in the spring.

The list of intrepid participating companies:

DoubleDutch

GoldieBlox

Goldman Sachs

The Capital Group

Greenbelt Alliance

Snap Judgement

Waypoint Homes

IAS

HSBC

WCI-GC

Here are a few highlights from the game!

Milwaukee Historic Scavenger Hunt

Every year, Milwaukee flings open the doors of the city’s most prized architectural sites, and 25,000+ participants swarm to get a behind-the-scenes look at the city for free. This annual event is called Doors Open Milwaukee, and exposes the public to the grandeur and character of Cream City’s past. 

We are thrilled to announce that we are joining forces with Historic Milwaukee to present an epic scavenger hunt around the city to bring these sites to life. 

The event is free, open to the public, and designed for all ages. The goal of the Doors Open Milwaukee Scavenger Hunt is to spotlight the city’s hidden history in a way that is memorable, engaging and fun. 

ABOUT THE GAME

Players will start at Doors Open Milwaukee Headquarters – City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Wells Street — and log into the game using smartphones. Between 10am and 3pm they will have a chance to complete various missions, solve clues, take photos and answer trivia questions about historic Milwaukee. 

Both teams and individuals are encouraged to play. The game is free with RSVP: www.thegogame.com/doorsopen

Join us for a day of surprise, delight, and absurdity, as we celebrate the history of one of America’s most dynamic cities. 

The Federal Courthouse, not usually open to the public, received 2,300 visitors in just one day during the event.

Questions? Email Jenny@thegogame.com