Play a game with teams and yourself


What is “PLAY”?

“PLAY”this verb normally belong to children,  I still remember when I was a kid, I played with friends, I played video games, dolls  and even only one piece of paper, I still could play  with it. As the time goes by, not only me, most of us forget how to play. most of people won’t think adults also need to play. People just play in their holiday and free time for relaxing! As Stuart Brown’s explaining in his TED presentation in 2008, playing is without purpose, it is practical and exploration.

Why we need to “PLAY”?

In the creative industry, any creative workers should be good at playing. Why? According to IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown  suggested that nowadays T-shaped people would be more popular in workplace. In the workplace, most of people have already had a large fund of knowledge to support them to accomplish their job. Then, most of people do scrumtshapewell in vertical stroke part of T-shaped person model.

what about horizontal stroke?  It is quite hard for people to think more further and collaborate with other people, this ability needs the imagination skill to support it. Therefore, “PLAY” is a suitable approach to improve my T-shaped personality. Because S. Brown believed that  “we are beginning to get a handle on when we are playing in the physiology” and “play can let people have connection”.

In order to being a T-shaped person. There are two key points that I should do:

  • collaborative ability
  • board my knowledge and imagination

Team game

Few weeks ago, we had a LEGO class, we were asked to use lego to build a highest tower, “build” your creative day and so on. It was quite interesting to check other people’s work, it could more understand what other people thought and when we faced one problem, different people had different angle to face and solve it. Because of this game, I realised how difficult the teamwork is more than I expected, everyone had their different points. If you meet someone that their the LEGO model is quite similar like you, maybe it means you guys have similar personality. For example, when Janja gave us the mission that “what your team looks like” , I built what I thought of my team with my imagination but some people built what it looks like when they work together. In the teamwork want to make a decision, some people depend on real situation, some people prefer using their imagination.



To me, the hardest mission was building a tower, everyone had their ideal tower in their mind but when everyone focused on their ideal tower and did not talk with others, the tower would lose the balance and fell.

A lonely game

Because I thought it is not enough only playing LEGO so that I decide to play other games to prove that playing is really helpful to build my T-shaped personality. When I travelled to Belfast, I visited the Golden Threat Gallery. There was a collagist exhibition of Sean Hillen and it was named “100 work”. Artist basically combined photos from everywhere and sticked them together. This gallery provided a tiny workshop for everyone to do their own collection artworks. In this workshop, I also could use my imagination to creative whatever artworks I wanted to do. It was a totally imagination game. It was different from the LEGO game because LEGO game increased the collaborative ability, we needed to talk a lot with each other, it was kind of training for teamwork. This collective game, I thought it focused on expanding my knowledge, belong to “vertical stroke” ability . When I stayed alone and played my lonely game, I tried my best to remind what’s the key points to do the collective art and organised a story in my mind to present on it. It could said that lonely games is a good method to use your knowledge to make it pratical.

(This is what I did in Golden Threat Gallery)

After these experience, play with your team or alone is helpful to relaxing, come up some surprising ideas and build a great connection. As S.Brown also said it can help the team to gain a sense of safety.

So…play harder, work better!


Stuart Brown (2008) Play is more than just fun. Available at: (Accessed: 27 February  2017).

Morten T. Hansen (2010)IDEO CEO Tim Brown: T-Shaped Stars: The Backbone of IDEO’s Collaborative Culture. Available at:™s-collaborative-culture/ (Accessed: 27 February  2017). (no date). (Accessed: 27 February  2017).





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