These virtual game nights are saving me right now, so knowing what games you can play with friends online is very important. As I write this, we are in week 2 of the Corona Virus shut down. Online Video Hangouts have been a lifesaver, but having something to focus on and forget about what is happening gives you back two hours to be a little less stressed. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. These virtual game nights have also left me incredibly inspired to keep this up when life gets back to normal. We are lucky enough to live near lots of friends and be able to have in-person game nights pretty often, but we also have many friends + loved ones who liver afar, and we could have easily set up game nights with them too.
Plan out the Logistics
PICK A GAME YOU CAN PLAY WITH FRIENDS ONLINEThere are lots of games you can play with friends online. I’d suggest choosing a game before you start throwing out invites, because the game you select might dictate the number of people that can participate, just like when you are playing games in person. Curious what games I have already checked out or will be checking out?
Pick a Time + Video Chat PlatformNot until recently did I realize that everyone has a strong preference for their video chat platform. Anyone else noticing this phenomenon? Here are some ideas if you are new to this — Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts/Meet, Facebook Messenger, Houseparty, Skype, Whats App. Choose whatever is easiest for your group. Pick a platform. Pick a time. Send the invite The joy of virtual game night is that everyone can jump on and off the call as needed. Encourage people to show up for however long they can — even if it just to say Hi.
Starting the HangoutThe more often you do this, the easier it will be for everyone, but those first few times you are on a group video chat, it is pretty normal to be uncertain about how to maximize the situation (and whether or not to talk). If you have a large group on the call [8+ people], I’d suggest taking the lead and setting some guidelines. Here are some pretty common ones.
- Mute yourself if you are having a side conversation or other things are going on in the background.
- Instead of clapping, give some spirit hands.
- If you are having a side conversation, consider using the chatbox.
- If you are giving instructions– the web address of the game, for example, be sure to type it in the chatbox.
- Mute other notifications that have sound on your computer. No one needs to hear your group chat going off every couple of minutes.