Monopoly. Operation. Risk. Trivial Pursuit. Whatever your game of choice, the reason you enjoy playing it probably has little to do with the game itself and everything to do with the people with whom you're playing it. Whether you like playing with family or friends, the shared experience of gathering around a board game and competing for bragging rights is a pastime everyone can appreciate.
So much so that event management software company MeetMax Games wants corporate groups to be able to enjoy it, too. On May 4, it therefore launched Smart Group Games, a new technology platform through which it's offering large corporate groups the ability to play interactive face-to-face games that bring the experience of "Game Night" to meetings and events.
"As a huge fan of modern board games, my primary goal was to make games that were fun and challenging while keeping them accessible for a large group," said MeetMax Games Founder Rikki Tahta. "The development challenge was to create real games, with uncertain outcomes, where people made interesting decisions but that could handle 20 or more simultaneous players who had to learn how to play in under two minutes."
According to MeetMax, a typical event lasts one to two hours. During it, MeetMax will facilitate four to five different games for groups of 20 to 50 people. Each game is played face-to-face using a patented "ID card action system" and shared screens situated across a playing area, giving players a common view that they can use to collaborate and keep track of progress. Games include "Treasure," a puzzle-solving game where players use their communication skills to locate their teammates and the treasure; "Potions," a negotiation game where players partner up to strategically trade information with the goal of creating the strongest potion; and "Settlement," wherein players create characters by trading resources, learning new skills, and working together to build towns.
"Games are great for stimulating introductions and conversations in a group. However, we found most existing options for corporations were dumbed down or unsatisfactory. For instance, many people don't enjoy physical games, while classic group games like casino nights or quiz shows lack personal interaction," Tahta continued. "So we created a completely new solution with short, fast, and challenging games that let large groups instantly have fun."
The goal isn't teambuilding, MeetMax insists. It's fun.
"The games really do help people interact with each other," concluded MeetMax Games Leader James Rightmyer Jr. "But at the end of the day, that's just a bonus. The games get teams having fun playing together. It's as simple as that."