If you are among the rare unlucky people who don't experience pure exhilaration from attending virtual meetings on Microsoft Teams, good news: Microsoft have added a load of games to entertain you. From inside Teams, you can now play procrastination classics like Solitaire and Minesweeper as well as party games meant for oodles of people. You can even play co-op Minesweeper. And hey, if it happens inside Teams, no one can deny it's work. If anything, you're engaging with the business experience even harder. Be sure to mention that in your annual performance review.
You can now add the 'Games For Work' app to your Teams meetings by digging into the Apps button on the top menu bar, the one with the People and Chat buttons and that. This will give the option to play four games inside Teams, clicking and typing away while the meeting continues discussing TPS reports and "the washing-up situation" in the background.
Some games are competitive, some are cooperative, and some you can watch other people play. The four in this pack are:
- Solitaire, coming in Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks variants.
- Minesweeper, including the option to play cooperatively to clear a field with your fellow conference callers. Possibly the best idea I have ever heard to destroy team coherence and build resentment.
- IceBreakers, a conversation-starter where you vote on things such as whether or not waffles are the best fries, or if you've ever muted a meeting and walked away to do chores.
- Wordament, a puzzle game about scoring big by finding words snaking across grids of letter tiles, with options limited by requirements like having to use the Gs in the corners or having to end with that -ES tile.
"Over 3 billion people around the world play games, serving a crucial role in bringing people together – especially during these last few years," said Jill Braff, Microsoft's general manager of integrations and casual games, in the announcement blog post.
"Games promote creativity, collaboration and communication in powerful and unique ways, and we can't wait to see the how the Games for Work app on Microsoft Teams inspires productivity and helps foster connections in the workplace."
For business reasons, I myself tried out Solitaire during my own Teams meeting this morn. I'm sure everyone was inspired to be productive by me shouting GET IN and THERE IT IS. How could they not? I was engaging with Teams so hard, doing so much business.