Calgary company's $20K gaming room aims to bond employees
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It’s lunchtime on a sunny day at Blatant Media’s Inglewood headquarters.
But instead of heading out for a solo jaunt around the block, staff members are busy shouting in unison as they co-ordinate fighter jet strafing runs and vehicle assaults.
The action takes place five days a week inside the e-learning organization’s new, $20,000 video-gaming room.
“It’s either at lunchtime, after work or even sometimes during afternoon breaks . . . it’s people getting to know each other through video-gaming,” said company President Michael Owens. “We encourage them to enjoy themselves and make fun of each other.”
Blatant had a smaller gaming hub in their previous location, but decided to build a soundproof, military bunker of sorts into their new headquarters.
So far, it’s a hit with employees like developer Monte Rattray.
“It definitely gives you something to look forward to,” he said. “You get to know the people around you a lot better.”
Blatant’s headquarter design in general is absent of cubicles and standard office décor, opting instead for communal areas complete with long chalkboard spans used for brainstorming. Major companies like Google and Apple have utilized similar new-age designs.
“We like people to have a culture of enjoying their work,” said Owens, who himself jumps into the action from time to time. “It really brings out the inner-child in us a little bit.”
Blatant Media’s gaming room features eight 55-inch TVs and eight Xbox consoles. It also comes complete with comfortable chairs and endtables for food and drinks.