By now, your social life probably looks something like this: Your group chats are ablaze with constant conversation, your screen time has reached an all-time high, and you’re very into phone calls. This might be our temporary reality—but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a little more exciting.
You’ve already had your first virtual dinner party and virtual happy hour, so for your next online hang, consider adding a competitive twist: Play a game over Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Consider your Friday night (and Saturday and Sunday and beyond) plans sorted.
With the help of a random word generator, you can easily play Pictionary over Skype or Google Hangouts—just hold up your drawing to the screen. If you have at least four people, it’s easy to divide into teams. Another option: On the free app Houseparty, you can start a game of Quick Draw right on your phone, which makes it even easier to get the competition brewing.
On a good night out, karaoke is a great way to make you feel a little more free-spirited and lighthearted. On a night in, we dare say it might be even more powerful. Grab your hairbrush as a stand-in microphone, pull up the karaoke version of your go-to song on YouTube, and sing your heart out—virtual duets are highly encouraged.
You won’t be hard-pressed to find a solid list of trivia questions on any given topic with a rudimentary Google search, but it’s way more fun to compile your own, especially when you can get as specific as possible. Some ideas to get you started: Name the fake paint color out of four out-there options (we recommend looking to Farrow & Ball for inspiration), guess what an IKEA piece is based on its name alone, and match the pasta shape to its name. Put one person in charge of questions—they’ll be your presenter and judge. Have them share their screen over Google Hangouts, and may the biggest nerd win.
If you’re a devoted fan of Cards Against Humanity, this online game is perfect for you. In Quiplash, everyone gets a prompt (for example, “the worst theme for a pinball machine”), to which each player submits an anonymous answer. Once everyone turns in their answer, they can all vote on their favorite to choose the winner. You’ll need one person to buy the program on their computer, and then up to eight people can join in from their phones or laptops. The added element of a video call isn’t necessary, but it does make it a lot more fun: Have one person present on their screen and get everyone else to join on Google Hangouts or Zoom.
Chips and Guac
This Houseparty activity is most similar to Apples to Apples: It’s a word-association game that switches judges each round, so you can tailor your plays based on who you know is reading your cards. You’ll need at least three players, and you can get your family involved, too—the app recommends the game for ages 13 and up.