Read part one of this creativity series here.
You may have seen the slogan “Work less, play more,” or some variation, on a productivity blog. So how does that play out in the real world? Here are some examples, both in and out of the meeting room.
I’ve played lots of fun little games in networking events designed to get us all talking. The Balance Careers has some great icebreaker questions. Some are playful, like “If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why?” Other suggested questions are thought-provoking, like “If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would the slogan be?” Lots of them are fun ways for us to learn more about each other. They generate laughter, conversation, and creativity. Sometimes, I find that hearing other people’s answers leads me to think differently.
Icebreakers are also great for social media. To see what I mean, check out my videos on who I most admire and who I’d like to meet. These videos received some good comments with people answering the question. This is exactly what you want, as it showcases both your brand and personality.
Blackbox: Discovering What’s Inside the Game
I’ve been playing this game called Blackbox. It’s an innovative puzzle game for iOS devices that earned a 2017 Apple Design Award, and it’s like no other game I’ve played. It’s also fully accessible with VoiceOver, the screen reader that makes Apple’s operating systems accessible to the blind. To solve each puzzle, you perform actions with your phone. This might involve tweaking settings, toggling switches, changing lighting, moving in certain ways, or otherwise being flexible about how you use your phone.
I’ve been thinking about what makes someone good at games like these. What does it take to figure out which setting to change or what to show your phone’s camera?
For me, it takes connections between seemingly unrelated thoughts and ideas. I play with possibilities to discover how each puzzle works. When I get stuck, I talk to friends about the challenge. In gaming as in copywriting, it’s often conversations that bring about new, creative solutions to old problems.
Social Improv Games
Have you ever joined a theater club or tried improvisation exercises? Once, at a networking meeting, we played a little game. We paired off, and one person made a comment. The other person had to add to the conversation by responding with “Yes, and…” We went back and forth. No matter what my partner said, I had to start every comment with “Yes, and…” There was lots of laughter and fun as we started disagreeing or adding in outlandish comments to see how well we could keep the conversation going.
Another social improv game I’ve played is the group story. One person started off a story. As we went around the room, each person added one sentence. Everyone at the networking event participated so that in the end, we had a creative and funny scenario.
If you enjoy these sorts of creativity boosters, then roleplaying games like Fiasco might be for you. To play, you choose from among the game’s ready-made characters, relationships, and situations. Then, quick rolls of the dice and prompts on cards guide your creative improvisation as the characters interact. This format gives you a framework to stir your creativity. Because the game’s theme is heists and shenanigans gone wrong, fun and laughter ensues. When my friends and I played, we used a high school setting and goofed on high school melodramas. Gameplay was light and fun as we creatively instigated and resolved conflicts.
I love to write, partly because I enjoy playing with words and phrases. Creative games also remind me to enhance my more serious writing style with a dash of playfulness. For me, creativity is sort of like a muscle. I started out with a certain amount of creative talent, and it’s up to me to strengthen and explore that talent.
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