(Virtual) Trivial Pursuits
The Etymology of the Word Trivia.
For all diehard trivia lovers out there, we’ve got the ultimate meta experience for you. It’s trivia, about trivia!
The term trivia’s singular form is “trivium.” So, theoretically, when asking a question about trivia or a piece of trivia, they can actually refer to it as trivium.
Trivium means “triple way.” In Latin, “tri ” means three, and “via” means “way”. Students studied the ‘trivium’ in medieval Europe, which consisted of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. They concentrated on the quadrivium, which consisted of algebra, geometry, music, and astronomy after students studied the trivium.
Modern Usage of The Word Trivia
The word trivia dates back to 1589, but it was not until the 20th century that they started to equate random factoids with trivia like we do today. In particular, the first known use of the word trivia, was in the British aphorist Logan Pearsall Smith’s novel, “Trivialities,” first published in 1902 and popularised in 1918.
Trivia on TV in the 1950s
Scandals, networks, and show biz oh my! With the arrival of the ’50s, came the popularity of the television, and in turn, televised trivia! The 1950s marked a significant period, when quiz shows, such as “Dotto,” “The $64,000 Question,” “Jeopardy” and “Twenty One” became highly popular.
These shows had high scores until it was revealed in 1959 that the producers of these shows supplied the contestants with responses. This revelation would soon be known as the “Gameshow Scandals”, resulting in quiz shows disappearing from network television. It wasn’t until 1982 when the thought of reintroducing Jeopardy came to Merv Griffin. This marked the comeback of televised trivia on network TV. After Jeopardy’s enduring success, new shows, including “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” began to pop up in the 1990s.
In Pursuit of the Trivial
Just because trivia was making waves on screen, doesn’t mean it stopped there! Live and in-person demand for these types of games lead to the creation of one of the most popular board games of all time. Canadian editors Chris Haney and Scott Abbott are to thank for this classic game. In 1979, after a few shared ideas, laughs, and beers in Haney’s apartment, they invented “Trivial Pursuit.”
Haney and Abbot continued to evolve the game and they released it to the public in 1982. The success of Trivial Pursuit was beyond either of their wildest dreams. In 1984 alone, the game produced over $800 million in sales. The game has sold more than 100 million copies since it was released and has been enjoyed by an estimated 1 billion individuals worldwide.
With the powers of the internet on the rise, creator Matt Ramme, tired of being unable to find a website that would satisfy his passion for trivia, decided to take matters into his own hands and create Sporcle, the leading trivia website on the internet. With many forms of trivia across all mediums, and more still to come, it is clear that the long history of trivia is still being written. So long as people remain eager to learn, there will always be a demand for trivia
Three Major Benefits of Playing Trivia
1.) Trivia: Your Brain on Questions
According to psychologist John Kounios, correctly answering a trivia question activates a release of dopamine in the brain that brings a sense of gratification to the individual answering. In addition to the short-term gain, as one ages, gathering and deploying data will exercise the brain, encouraging healthy neurological function. Trivia is like taking your head to the gym, minus the sweat.
2.) Take a Screen Break
Speaking of neurological wellbeing, hitting up a quiz night also has some peripheral benefits. Author, Cal Newport, claims in “Deep Work” that the ability to concentrate intensely on one goal at a time is the most important skill to cultivate in our constantly distracted environment. Although enjoyable, intelligent devices and social networking may have the unintentional impact of rewiring our brains to crave constant stimulation.
This hyper-stimulation condition has the unintended effect of making it hard for long periods of time to concentrate. A built-in break from screen time, however, can be provided by Trivia.
3.) Getting Together
Everyone needs a little social interaction, especially now! Trivia, through many platforms, is an excellent way for team members, friends, and colleagues to socialize and learn. Team trivia, both virtual and live, can be a great way to foster some friendly competition, camaraderie, and fun for any group or team.
If you have any questions on how JAM’s virtual trivia events can help you keep your coworkers smiling and connected, drop us a line! We will answer any questions, no matter “how trivial.”🤪
The 411 On Escape Rooms
Whether you have a monthly pass to your local room of riddles or have just signed up for your first escaping experience, you’ve probably heard something about this latest craze. But how did this whole thing get started? Who decided that locking people in a dark room with only one hour to solve complex puzzles sounded more like a fun Saturday afternoon than torture?
Different sources indicate that the original concept for escape rooms is from games such as the Hedge Maze. The Hedge Maze game was popular in the 16th century. English royalty often challenged their visitors to find their way out through the shrubbery arranged maze patterns. These complex structures were a great inspiration for the invention of escape room games we play today. Escape rooms are giant brain puzzles that involve logical and creative thinking with a touch of a cooperative team effort needed to solve the puzzle within an hour. The game is designed as an indoor space where you have to solve and tackle tasks as a team using clever clues and find a way out.
The escape rooms’ origin in its current form is traced back to 2007 in
Japan when an entrepreneur named Takao Kato started hosting escape room events in clubs and bars. Takao credited his inspiration from witnessing a classmate play the online version of the escape-the-room. The concept spread as tickets for the live events were being sold out quickly. A few years later, in 2011, the popularity of escape rooms exploded in Singapore and later spread out to Canada, North America, Europe, and Australia.
The new era of remote working and social distancing has allowed us to reinvent the escape room game. Working from home gave us the bright idea to design and develop a virtual escape room to offer our clients a new and exciting experience. Moving into the virtual world posed a huge challenge but luckily, it was one we were able to rise to.
Why escape rooms are great for teams
Fun, engaging team-building activities are crucial for those looking to create a positive work environment. Escape rooms provide a unique and refreshing team bonding experience; one that is sure to increase morale and spark some healthy competition amongst coworkers.
Below are some of the reasons why escape rooms are great for team building activities:
- Safety and affordability: these two facts make escape rooms make them ideal for a team-building activity.
- A fair discovery process: Escape rooms shine a light on individuals’ strengths that may not be apparent in the confines of their job descriptions.
- Improves stress response: The ultimate goal for any exercise is usually to beat the clock. Tasks in escape rooms are timed, which layers on an added challenge for participants. The time crunch creates an environment where focus and problem solving become essential tools for teams trying to escape.
- Relationship building: The escape room experience is exciting enough to break any awkward silence as the shared objective of solving puzzles and finding a way out will strike a conversation. The feeling of success and accomplishment at the end of the tasks will create a bond among the team players.
- Brings out the power of togetherness: The art of solving an escape room puzzle requires a different set of abilities, skills, and thinking capabilities. Sharing ideas and teams that are able to utilize their members’ skill sets and communicate effectively are more likely to succeed in this collaborative challenge.
- Fun for all: the various types and levels of complexity make the game refreshing and suitable for any group/team. JAM offers escape rooms of varying themes and difficulties to cater to any client’s needs.
Why Escape Rooms Have Become So Popular
Currently, physical escape rooms worldwide are estimated to be in the thousands, with new ones coming up every day. These are some of the reasons why the game has become so popular:
- Many people’s love of mysteries and puzzles has helped this game grow in popularity.
- Escape rooms have revolutionized interactive theater, scavenger hunts, live-actions roleplaying, haunted houses, puzzle hunts, television shows, books, video games, and movies.
- The various types of puzzles and themes available allow for a constantly changing experience that never gets boring, no matter how many times you play.
- Participating in escape room games will give you a sense of belonging, boosting your confidence and making you feel important, showing people how valuable you are as a coworker.
- Stimulating brain activity can increase productivity, motivation, and time management skills.
- Staying home does not mean missing out on the fun! Virtual spaces have allowed companies like JAM to create unique online escaping experiences that will ensure those who love these challenging games can keep playing.
Social distancing has shown us that human connection and shared experiences contribute greatly to our collective mental wellbeing. Virtual escape rooms offer a unique experience to bring people together in a way most other virtual experiences can’t. Plus, with a virtual event, no one has to sit in traffic!
Virtual escape rooms give you the ability to test your team’s collective wits from the comfort of your own home while sporting your comfiest pair of PJ pants. JAM offers you a number of different challenges to choose from, including a traditional haunted house escape, an Everest expedition, and even an outer space challenge that is sure to rocket your socks off!
Solving these puzzles in our virtual escape rooms will give you and your group a sense of triumph, accomplishment, and confidence. Contact JAM us to find out more about how we can help you and your team keep playing!
3 Easy Tips to Reduce Work Stress
The holiday season is over, a new year is upon us, along with a return of day-to-day work, responsibilities and more zoom meetings. Beware, there is an inaudible enemy lurking amidst your zoom calls! It exhausts your energy levels, ruins your attentiveness, and eats away at your self-assurance. Your co-workers complain about it and your boss may not even realize or believe it exists. Who is this silent enemy?
Stress is the ultimate culture-killer within a workplace and it has worsened over the past year, due to the havoc the pandemic has wreaked on everyone’s lives.
Studies have shown that excess stress can cause a multitude of physical symptoms, such as migraines, chest pain, stomach illnesses, increased blood pressure, and even problems sleeping. Further, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have learned that stress has also been linked to creating mood disorders like depression and anxiety. And a team of researchers from Harvard and Stanford recently discovered that stress stemming from the workplace may in fact reduce your life expectancy. All in all, work stress is something we ought to be striving to minimize. Here are three easy tips that will help to reduce workplace stress.
1. Create a Buddy System
Creating a buddy system or mentorship program is extremely helpful in reducing the stress of individual employees while generating an overall healthier workplace for both staff, and the company culture as a whole. Connecting new employees to existing knowledgeable staff members through a mentor program can provide a sense of direction and support and help a company’s newer teammates familiarize themselves with the organization’s values, lingo and culture. A veteran employee will feel empowered as a leader and will benefit from the inevitable learning that comes when teaching others. A buddy system will help reduce stress by creating closer relationships and bonds amongst your team helping employees to thrive and grow.
2. Encourage Walking Meetings
The newest office fad that was gaining popularity before the pandemic hit was walking meetings. This beneficial new craze will hopefully continue amidst the pandemic. Discussing important topics while getting some exercise through a walk is easily done and in fact, our focus is likely improved as we are inhaling fresh air and not distracted by notifications popping up on our multiple screens. I have experienced many “walk and talks” with my own team and a number of other entrepreneurs in my network this past year and love how invigorated and focused I feel when I sit back down at my desk. Exercise and fresh air have been scientifically proven to reduce stress. Amidst the pandemic with everyone working remotely – why not encourage your team to turn off their video for at least one meeting a day (especially if they don’t need to be looking at a spreadsheet during the meeting), and get outside for a ‘walk and talk’.
3. Make Time for Play…Even at Work!
Typically, when one thinks of play at work, we might think “inappropriate” or “distraction” – employees ought to be focused on the business at hand. However, given my 25 years of experience in keeping adults playing – I would argue there is in fact huge value for both the individual and the corporation, in finding time for play in the workplace. Research suggests that play at work actually boosts levels of creativity, engagement, and productivity, in employees of all ages. Encouraging some time for work teams to play, laugh, and connect – whether on a sports field, via a virtual Escape Room or enjoying a customized game of virtual company Trivia – the great benefit will be derived for both the employees and the business in doing so. Embracing some adult playtime provides a massive stress release, creates improved team-bonding and thus engagement within the workplace, while also leading staff members to feel more joyful at work. Play within the workplace creates a more collaborative happy team of employees – which in turn leads to happier customers and better results for the organization overall.
While dealing with workplace stress was a real and problematic issue before the 2020 pandemic – workplace stress continues (and is likely exacerbated) even when working on a laptop from the living room couch. But the good news is – this intense stress for our co-workers and organizations is definitely resolvable. Hopefully by choosing to implement some of the easy tips above you and your team will experience a reduction in stress and an improvement in the company culture!