Looking for a fun way to engage your team, encourage socialization, and have a little bit of friendly competition? Learn how to host a Go Kart Social for your team with the Gather Grand Prix!
You might feel a little guilty taking a break from your workday to race digital Go Karts, but a team-building activity like this can encourage camaraderie and conversations between people who don’t always work together.
Especially in remote environments, it’s helpful to have a conversation starter or shared experience to help break the ice. Spontaneous activities and team shenanigans serve as the perfect icebreaker! And when your team feels closer to each other, they’ll work better together.
Note: This social experience and tutorial are specifically designed for Remote Office or Team Social Spaces. If you have an Event Space, we recommend creating a new Space to host your Go Kart Social.
1. Get to the Gather Grand Prix
When you create a Remote Office or Team Social Space on Gather, there’s a portion of the map that’s specifically designed for team building activities.
If you choose a Remote Office Template, you should see a sign that says “Team Games” pointing toward a bridge near the edge of the Map.
When you walk across the bridge, you’ll enter an outdoor courtyard. If you choose a Team Socials Template, you’ll start in this Space.
Walk to the top or northern side of this Space, and you’ll see a room that prompts you to “Press ‘x’ to choose a social room.” This is called the Rec Room.
Note: If you’re in a Custom Office Map that doesn’t automatically give you access to this courtyard and the Rec Room, you can actually place the Rec Room anywhere in your Space. You’ll find it in the Object Picker.
You can technically place multiple Rec Rooms in your Space, but their settings will override each other. For this reason, we recommend only placing one!
2. Get ready to start your engines
When you enter the Gather Grand Prix, you’ll see our first default race template. If you want to change the track, walk up to the yellow sign that says Track and you’ll see three options:
- Rose Raceway, the default, is your classic race track.
- Dark Castle Dragway features lava and spooky music.
- Seaside Speedway is a delightful beach.
In all three track options, the starting line is off to the right and there’s space for spectators to sit if you walk straight ahead.
There’s also a microphone with a Spotlight tile in front of it on the stage, so the host of your team event can speak to everyone at the same time.
At this time, you can direct spectators to take a seat and racers to line up at the start line. Make sure you don’t press “Ready” until everyone is there!
3. How to race
You can have up to 8 people race at a time. To enter the race, you’ll walk up to a Go Kart and hit “x.”
To drive your Go Kart, you can use the arrow keys or WASD – the same controls you use for moving your avatar in Gather.
Once everyone is lined up, have someone hit “Ready” to start the race.
You have three laps to come out on top. Watch out for the cones, stones, and twisting roads!
If you see three glowing triangles stacked on top of each other, those are boosters. If you drive over them, you’ll launch forward for a chance to pass your competition!
4. Celebrate the winners
Once all racers have crossed the finish line for the last time, everyone will see a message that says “Go to Podium.” This brings everyone to the podium in the middle of the template where the winners will be transported to their respective places: First, Second, or Third place.
This brings everyone together so it’s easy to cheer, take screenshots, and continue conversations now that the race is done. It creates that “crowd atmosphere” that’s really hard to achieve for remote teams.
5. Best practices
Have a hype person who’s available to promote the social before, during, and after the event. This is a great way to increase team engagement and get people excited about the race you’re planning.
Give people time to practice. We recommend planning this social a week in advance, mostly to give your team time to get on the track and practice driving. This can help make people feel more comfortable engaging in the social and increase the competition, too.
Have a host during the race. This person can add commentary throughout the race, engage the crowd, and act as your emcee for the event.
If you have a lot of people on your team who want to race, run it tournament style. Split everyone in groups of 8, and then let the winners of each group progress to the next round. We like to do this until there’s a final victory race between the top two contenders!
Encourage spectators to run around the track! It’s a great way to increase the difficulty and/or silliness of this social. Avatars act as obstacles that will block Go Karts, which makes it more difficult and ridiculous to navigate the track.
Document the fun in real-time. Take photos and share updates about the race in your other internal company channels, to let people know the event is happening and it’s still okay to join. For example, you might post real-time updates about who’s winning each round in Slack or share a photo of the winners. (This is a great job for your hype person!)
Get leadership involved. Whether they’re racing around the track or promoting the event ahead of time, having leaders from your team present and excited about a social event can really boost engagement from the rest of the team. It creates a chance to strengthen those cross-team connections, as well.
Start your race
The Gather Grand Prix is a built-in game your team can play that’s perfect for encouraging socialization and some friendly competition.
If you’re new to Gather, you can have up to 25 people in your Space for free (including on the race track).