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Microsoft Teams now lets you play casual games with colleagues

Get ready for collaborative Minesweeper.

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Most remote workers will confess to playing the occasional game when they should be nose-deep in spreadsheets.

But now, the work-from-home crowd will be able to game during business hours with the blessing of Microsoft itself. 

The latest update to Microsoft Teams — Redmond’s answer to Slack — brings a swath of new casual games, where you can even compete against up to 250 of your colleagues. 

READ MORE: Microsoft Teams will let you attend meetings as a 3D avatar

But don’t get too excited — yet. You won’t be able to frag colleagues in Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, no matter how much your boss looks like a Cacodemon.

Nor will it let you take down the malevolent Institute in the post-apocalyptic hellscape of Fallout 4. Rather, ‘Games for Work’ includes options like Minesweeper, Solitaire, and Wordament.

In Solitaire, players will compete to finish first. The Microsoft Teams flavor of Minesweeper adds a collaborative edge, as you work with your colleagues to clear the board.

Wordament, meanwhile, will list your company’s most erudite linguists on a leaderboard. 

Microsoft envisions ‘Games for Work’ as a team-building tool. It hopes that, by incorporating games into the working day, employees will emerge refreshed and ultimately more productive. 

“Research shows that gaming promotes cognitive benefits, helps foster empathy and encourages inclusion, team building and learning,” the company said in an announcement.

If you’re curious, you can check out the Microsoft Games for Work app here. You’ll likely have to get permission from your IT department before you start pwning your n00b colleagues in Minesweeper, however.

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Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Past work can be found on The Register, Reason, The Next Web, and Wired.

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