Can Role-Playing Games Improve Employee Teamwork?
Those already in the know are well aware of how much fun you can have in a role playing game (RPG); it’s a great way to blow off some steam and relax. It stimulates creativity, cultivates a team mentality and builds confidence; all skills which would be appreciated in the office environment. So would there be similar benefits to bringing RPGs into the working place?
As it happens, games are great team-building exercises. Team building has long been recognised to have a positive impact on those taking part in terms of increasing productivity and how effectively the team performs. There are loads of benefits particularly as a result of RPGs. Let’s look at Dungeons and Dragons as an example, but the same applies to many other role-play games.
Creativity & Imagination
Each game requires a Dungeon Master (DM for short) whose role is to narrate the story that the players are creating. Each player needs to create their character, and vocalise their own actions and combat sequences. Individually, you can really explore your creative output.
Role playing games are a great way to engage in storytelling; and one of the most powerful ways to activate your brain is through telling stories. Storytelling engages multiple parts of your brain; processing language, thoughts, feelings and memories encourages the brain to make new and creative connections, which can lead to new ideas.
Strategy & Team Strengths
Versatility plays well to your advantage in an RPG; each class of character has its own strengths and weaknesses, and players can benefit from diversity within a team. If the whole team are skilled in combat, who has the ability to heal your wounds after a powerful enemy deals a load of damage your way?
The same can be said in a working environment, and the game can teach players to approach team projects strategically. The most successful teams are those who maximise on everyone’s strengths collectively to form an advantage.
Dealing with the unexpected
Just as in real life, a roll of the die can cause an unprecedented turn of events. Granted, there aren’t dice in the working world, but you still can’t plan for unforeseen circumstances. The game forces you to think on-your-feet, taking stock of what you have at your disposal and how best to use it to your advantage.
A Fire Giant has caught you off guard (thanks a lot Dungeon Master!), what are you going to do? Scenarios like this mean you have to make a quick decision under pressure. It’s unlikely that you will encounter a Fire Giant in the workplace, but the ability to come to a quick, successful decision takes practice. Where better to hone those skills than in a role playing game?
Problem solving develops your critical thinking, and collectively can increase your team’s performance. It can help you approach difficult problems you may face in the future with a renewed mindset, looking at multiple perspectives in order to solve the challenge ahead.
Ultimately, the main aim is for each player to look after each other’s character when they get into trouble. By working together the team can have success; and take their new skills with them back to the office.