Virtual Games (with Others)

Leverage social or video-conference platforms like Zoom, and Houseparty to play games with your friends and family.

Britany has discovered that you can play many of the board games on your shelf virtually by assigning a “game host” to manage the deck and move pawns for the rest of the group.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use 2 video devices – In order to make sure the rest of the group can see the board and you, it’s easiest to use two devices – one angled to capture the board or game in its entirety, this device is muted and audio is silenced (so as not to conflict with the audio of the other device and create an echo; and the other, angled to capture your face as well as any other family members playing under the same roof as you.
  2. Choose a game – she has found that the following can be played without much change to the original game flow (more games will be added over time):
    • Do You Know Me – this worked exceptionally well, with limited changes to the instructions. Only one person needs the game, but everyone will need a piece of paper and a pen. Assign and write down the order in which each person gets a chance in the ‘hot seat’ and is ‘judged’ by everyone else. Carry on the game as according to the instructions, with two exceptions: the game host is in charge of reading the cards to the group, and each player will record their own guesses for each round, as well as the person being judged. After everyone has made their guess for each card, the game host then asks the person in the hot seat each question, while the others track on their own sheets awarding themselves a point for each question they answered correctly. Continue gameplay until each player has a chance in the hot seat, and the player with the most points wins.
    • Never Have I Ever – a great game to get to know your friends and family better. Similar to the above, only one person needs the games, and those with the game can use the game paddles in the kit. Those that join you virtually need to draw their own, “I Have” and “I Have Never,” one on each side of a piece of paper. Make sure you draw it in a bold font so it can be seen through the camera. Continue gameplay as directed.

There are also several online gaming tools (without video) that you can use to play the classics with friends in other households or perfect strangers:

  1. Houseparty – there are games built-in to the video conferencing app itself – Heads Up, Trivia, Chips and Guac (Houseparty’s version of Cards Against Humanity) and Quick Draw.
  2. Trickster Cards – all of your traditional card games, with good UX and chat.
  3. Pogo: Play the classics like Scrabble, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Mahjong and Poker. Several options for kids.
  4. Includes ‘Cards Against Humanity’ as well as a ‘make your own card games’ tool.
  5. Library includes over 800 games, both classic and obscure.