Creating a fun ‘Nerf gun’ office culture

About 5 years ago I attended a PERL training course at Sun’s East coast megaplex in Burlington, MA. It was 2003 and the 4 years of internet bubble swoon had taken their toll on what appeared to be a once prosperous campus. The company store was eerily vacant. Vending machines were un-stocked. Cubes, and entire buildings for that matter, were vacant. The saddest image was the dozens of game tables (pool tables, ping pong, air hockey, bubble hockey, foozball) were pushed in a darkened conference room and collecting dust. The image still haunts me; a graveyard of fun, castaway in favor of more productive work hours.

I don’t know if we’ll ever see our work environments so excessively doused with games and fun. But there is a way, inexpensive and efficiently, that you can bring some late-90s-era-dot-com fun back to your office. The answer: Nerf guns! — Super fun, cheap and safe (depending on shooter)

There’s nothing like unloading a few rounds of lofty, soft Nerf darts at or in the direction of a co-worker after writing a huge block of code. The toys range from $5 to $30 and can be purchase at walmart, target or Amazon.

Aside form aimless shooting, here are some easy games you can pull together.
1. Draw a multi-colored bulls-eye target on a whiteboard and keep score.
2. Find an obscure hole on a wall or side of a desk and see who can shoot it through.
3. Distance contest – who can shoot the further?
4. Hit the Flex Class – requires Flex Framework Diagram
5. Knock the frog off the tower – requires employment at Ribbit.

So add some excitement and fun to your office. Just don’t aim for the eyes — unless that person wears glasses.