redpepper Virtual Energizer Dice

by Taylor McFerran and Michelle Ruiz

Let’s set the scene. It’s 2 p.m. and you’re an hour into the 2-hour video meeting you’re hosting. You look around the Zoom room and see your teammates fading. You want to be understanding, after all, remote work is still new, and we’re all trying to make it work. How do you press on while rallying the group around the rest of the agenda?

We believe brain breaks are essential in order to peak perform and combat the occasional afternoon slump. These breaks, or energizers, can give an extra boost to any working session or workshop to ensure the group finishes strong. At redpepper, we use energizers during workshops to help keep momentum and stay sharp — they're an integral part of our proven methodology. Usually, these brain breaks include physical dice that are tossed around the room. One die has a physical exercise or stretch and the other die has a number that signals how many reps of the movement everyone will do.

We looked for a way to adapt these tools to the world of remote collaboration because a virtual session does not have to stop the team from collectively taking a much-needed stretch break. Cue: Virtual Energy Dice. Our Creative Technologist whipped them up using Three.js, a webGL framework for creating 3D interactive experiences, and a physics engine called Cannon.js to recreate the tossing and rolling of the dice. Voila! Built in a few hours.

Ready to give 'em a roll? Here's a guide:

  1. Survey the scene. Anybody yawning? Distracted? Has everyone just been sitting for a little too long?
  2. Choose a roller. Choose wisely. This person will roll the dice and lead the group in the movement. A coveted role.
  3. DM Virtual Dice to the roller. Shoot them the link privately so you don’t spoil the surprise. If you are using Zoom you can send them a direct chat.
  4. Ask the roller to share their screen. People will be on the edge of their seats, waiting for the action.
  5. Do whatever the dice say. Respect the dice.
  6. Repeat 2-3x. Once just isn’t enough. Get those reps in.

We've embedded the virtual dice below, or you can head over this link to use them in your own sessions.

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