January 27, 2021 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Aaryana Sharma; Edited by Haarika Kalahasti
For the past year we’ve been faced with the pandemic changing all aspects of our daily lives, including our school/work schedules and the way we work out. But how about the way we celebrate? It’s for sure drastically changed the way we hang out with friends, family and coworkers. Celebrations, ranging from baby showers to happy hours, now take place on FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom, with us watching everyone on small boxes on our screen. But who said virtual parties couldn’t be fun? Here are some ways you and your friends can celebrate virtually:
Try to Make me Laugh
The first game is “Try to Make Me Laugh”. To set up this game you need a virtual spinner with all the guest’s names. You can make your own virtual spinner here. After you have everyone’s names on the spinner, click the share icon at the top, and copy and paste the shareable link, so you have it ready to go for your event. On the day of the event, pull up your virtual spinner and explain the rules to your guests, as follows. The first person who is selected has to make the second person selected laugh. They can choose to have their camera on, or off, and the goal is to make their person laugh. After the second person laughs, you pick a new pair. Each time you pick a person, make sure to remove their name, so that everyone gets a chance to play!
The second game is “Scattergories’”. You can find a virtual Scattergories game here. Scattergories is a simple, yet challenging all time favorite of mine. To play this game, each player should have a writing utensil and a writing surface, such as a notebook, paper, or tablet. Each round starts with a letter, for example “G”, and a set of scenarios, items(or categories), such as “a type of juice”. Each player has to write down an answer to each scenario, for example for the question “a type of juice that starts with g” you may write “grape juice” or “guava juice”within 60-120 seconds. Once the timer goes off each person reads what they wrote for the individual question and marks their points. But here’s the catch: If two players write the same answer for a question, neither of them get any points! Your answers have to be unique, but realistic at the same time.
There are two ways to play this, one with numbers where you call out a number and each player marks the number on their virtual card, and another more more personal way. You can create your Bingo cards here. To set up these bingo cards, write down scenarios of your choice, such as “Eaten Sushi” or “Has eaten salt instead of sugar”. After you finish making your first card click the “Next Step” button. This amazing platform lets you make up to 30 randomized combinations of your bingo card, and gives you the link to each individual card. Make sure to save the links on a google doc, sticky notes software, or somewhere handy to play on the day of your event. To play this game, privately message each person a bingo card, which will be different for each person so that two people cannot can call “Bingo” at the same time. Then, let the action begin! Take turns calling out the scenarios on your board and ask if anyone’s done them. If someone says “yes”, have them tell everyone the story! Keep going until someone gets a bingo! Need some Bingo card inspiration? Click here!
The next fun at-home game is a Scavenger Hunt! To set up this game, you will need a google doc with clues or items to find. Add items like “A quarantine craft,” or “A left sock” so your guests will have to go looking! It’s best to set up around 10-20 household items and make the items conventional and unique, so your guests have a challenge! Once you’re done making your list, copy and paste the “share” link on an email. Change the last part which says “edit” to “copy” so each person has to make their own copy of the list. Then copy the new link to a sticky-notes or google doc so all your games can be together! To play the game, send the “copy” link to the main chat and ask everyone to set a 2 minute timer on their phone. Everyone starts their timers at the same time and goes around their house looking for items! Once the timer rings, have everyone reconvene in front of their computer and talk about their items like a show-and-tell. Each item is worth one point, but you can add a few bonus points too based on the thought and complexity of the item! Once a guest presents, add up their points. After everyone’s shared their items, announce the winner! Need some Scavenger Hunt inspiration? Click here!
Another amazing game is “Charades''. The best part about this game is that there’s no pre-party set up! On the day of the event, just open this Virtual Charades game and get started! There are two ways to play Charades, one being the ordinary way where one player acts and everyone else guesses the word and the other being reverse charades where one player guesses and everyone else acts. Pick the option best suited for your group and get started! If you’re new to charades, here’s how you play: The virtual charades generator will give the acting theme a topic, like “Charlotte's Web” for example, and you need to act out the topic until the other team guesses. You can play charades with or without a timer, depending on the group’s competition level!
The next game is a fun virtual take on pictionary! This is another game which has no pre-party set up! This fun game allows players to join a private chat room with a whiteboard. You can make a private room by clicking “Create Private Room”, under “Play”. The host, or guest that created the private room, can make some changes to the room to make it more fun to play in. They can modify the number of rounds, draw time, language, and custom words. The host can add custom words, things you enjoy doing in your spare time, and other fun topics! Once the host creates the private room, they can share the game link to the main chat so everyone can join the game. The game starts once everyone is in the chat room and ready to begin! Each round starts by giving an individual three topics from the custom word list, or an arbitrary word for them to pick from. Once the player picks the word they draw it out on the built-in whiteboard screen and the players guess what they are drawing. You can find the game here!
The final game is a virtual game-set! While this is game-kit does not require any pre-party set up, it is the only one on our list that costs money. The Jackbox set is around $20, but can be used as many times as you want after one download! Jackbox features games like Quiplash, where players have to come up with catchy sayings and slogans to prompts, trivia events, a T-shirt making contest, and even a game called Fakin’ it (similar to Bluff). To play the game, one person in the event must have purchased and downloaded the game, other players do not need to have it downloaded to join in on the fun!. Once the host sets up a game, the other players enter in a game code to join the virtual party platform. Depending on the game, the host may need to share their screen so that the other players see the game and play along on their screen. There is no time limit or subscription for Jackbox and can be tons of fun at parties at events! Click here to download Jackbox!
These are just a few of our favorite free, and fun online games to play virtually for celebrations. No matter how far apart we are, these games bring us together, make us laugh, and make amazing memories, just like we would in person! From traditional favorites to brand new experiments, these virtual games bring the Zoom to life!