As mentioned in the teambuilding section on Charades, an excellent way to build teamwork in a virtual team is by playing a Charades-like game. To the right is a generator that pulls blocks of words and phrases from our database of sketchable terms. The terms are divided into four levels of difficulty (easy, moderate, difficult, and very difficult). It is best to start with a few of the easy ones to warm up the group and then progress to the more difficult ones to ratchet up the competition. Here are the instructions for this game:
- Connect everyone via a phone conference bridge or multi-user VoIP solution (like TeamSpeak), a virtual whiteboard
tool such as Vyew or NetMeeting, and some form of instant messaging service.
- Divide your virtual team into two groups. For very large groups, you may want to divide into pairs of groups and run separate games to improve interaction.
- Choose a moderator for the game. This person will send the words to be guessed to the sketcher, time the rounds, and keep track of points.
- Choose someone from the first group to sketch the word. Be sure to rotate through everyone on each group.
- The moderator selects a word from the word list (taken from the table of words on this page) and sends it to the sketcher via IM, so that nobody else sees it. The moderator then starts timing the sketch process.
- The sketcher has 30 seconds to sketch as fast as s/he can as the rest of his/her group tries to guess the word. S/he must not speak or use any letters or words. Numbers 0 through 9, + (plus) and – (minus) are acceptable to use.
- If his/her group correctly guesses the word, they get a point. Note: You can also score this as 1pt for Easy words, 2pts for Moderate ones, etc.
- If time runs out without the word being guessed, the other group is given one guess. If they guess correctly, they get the points. If they don’t guess it correctly, no score is given to either side and play continues.
- A sketcher is then chosen from the other group and the process is repeated starting at step 5 until the last word is used, time runs out, or some agree-upon score is reached.
Once people get used to sketching and how the game works, this can be a very exciting and noisy event. It is best if all participants have access to a graphics pad for sketching. Mice are really poor sketching devices. Touch pads on laptops are better, but still don’t match the natural feel of a graphics pad.