Social distancing is important, but it doesn’t mean social isolation. While it’s no longer a possibility to spend social time with friends at parties or parks, there are still a plethora of ways to hang out virtually and maintain some semblance of human contact. Here are just five ideas to do that.
1. Jackbox Party Games
These are a creative set of games that involve things ranging from drawing (Drawful), fill-in-the-blank prompts (Quiplash), high-stakes trivia (Trivia Murder Party), or t-shirt designs (Tee K.O.). They provide a great way to have fun with friends and laugh over the ridiculous things that often end up happening.
To play, only one person needs to buy the game. Users can purchase the games individually for about $15 with the sale they currently have going on, or they can get one of six Party Packs for prices from $12.49 to $20.99.
After the games have been purchased, the host sets up a session and other players can join by typing a link into their phones and laptops. Start a video or voice conference and enable screen share at the same time in order to enjoy the full experience. Zoom or Discord can both be easily used for this.
Here’s a more in-depth guide to playing Jackbox games, provided by the company itself.
It’s a multiplayer drawing and guessing game, kind of like Draw Something or Pictionary. To start a game, simply go to skribbl.io, enter a name and customize an avatar, then hit “Create Private Room.”
This will then generate an invite link which can be sent to friends. Game settings such as the number of rounds and the amount of time a person is given to draw the prompt can be changed, and players can also add custom words if they want to include inside jokes or unique prompts.
Skribbl.io is a great way to either showcase artistic abilities or poke light fun at others who lack those abilities when they draw things that look absolutely nothing like the original prompt, causing lots of confusion for guessers. It’s definitely a fun quarantine activity.
3. Netflix Party
If users want to watch movies together, or carry out a late-night marathon of “Parks and Recreation” with a friend, Netflix Party allows them to do just that.
Simply download the Netflix Party Google Chrome extension and follow the steps to sync up multiple people’s Netflix playbacks. There is also a chat function that allows users to make live comments, but they can also set up a voice or video conference for more free-flowing conversation. More instructions on how to use Netflix Party can be found here.
4. Nintendo multiplayer games
If people have Nintendo Switches, there’s a whole world of opportunities out there. With the release of Animal Crossing New Horizons last month, users can visit each other’s islands and talk to a variety of digital villagers, and they can also trade resources like flowers and fruit. Players can spend time competing against each other in Mario Kart too.
Alternatively, if Switches aren’t available, since they have been in high demand for the past month, users can race each other in Mario Kart Tour, an iPhone app, or visit each other’s campsites in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. These are all free to download on the App Store.
5. Dungeons and Dragons
Quarantine is a great time to finally start playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends. Players can escape to a world of fantasy and create cool characters, trying their luck at leveling up and completing quests. Get a group of friends together, appoint someone as the Dungeon Master, and start playing.
Discord is a great platform for virtual D&D, since there are a variety of bots that can be added to a server that can perform tasks such as keeping track of player levels and rolling dice. It also allows easy voice-chatting for game nights.
Here’s a guide on how to set up a D&D game for the first time.