The final part of the Living with the Lockdown series is focused on games you can play with people over the internet. Talking to people is important and a crucial aspect of getting through the Lockdown. However, playing games and having fun is a huge part of most people’s lives. It gives us a medium through which to interact with other people in a real way, and exercises our mind and frankly, gives us a way to kill time. There’s an awful lot of time to kill. I, and a lot of my friends, are gamers. A lot of our interaction is online and game based anyway. However, there are still a lot of people who aren’t that into video games, don’t have a console or a decent computer or simply don’t quite know where to start. So I’m hoping to suggest a few options, let you know a few of our favourites, all of which can be played online, and by multiple people,
- Turn based strategy games, e.g. Civilisation, Crusader Kings, Total War – Turn based strategy games bring long term investment to the table first and foremost. The games allow you to pit competing nations against each other, with each player taking their place on a world map. Whilst the end goal of each game is basically world domination, the games encourage talking and working together to either defeat a larger foe, or to solve a problem that a player is having. Forming alliances and eventually betraying those alliances is a recipe for endless hours of fun. Luckily the games can be found quite reasonably and all run through video game platform Steam. Can be played quite comfortably on a low end laptop, however does require a financial investment and a good computer would help the experience.
- Chess – One of the oldest games around, luckily there are free resources through http://chess.com. This resource has lessons, allows you to play against the computer to either improve your game or simply if no-one is free to play, and allows you to play against friends through the website. Simply create a free account and invite friends to play!
- Dungeons and Dragons – Hear me out. Dungeons and Dragons, or DnD, might be one of the best ways to spend time whilst stuck indoors. Resources such as https://roll20.net/ have been developed to encourage remote games. Roll 20 allows you to create your own games, talk to your friends, work together and focus your experience through a story based role playing game. Whilst it does require a financial outlay, Roll 20 has released a free module on their website for new players to get you started. It includes instructions, rules, maps and all the information you require to get started.
- Quizzes – A craze that’s sweeping around the internet, at least in the UK is the idea of a video Pub Quiz. Luckily, there’s so many options around that it’s easy to get involved. Grab some friends online, form a team and get involved! Just because the pub is closed does not mean that you can’t have fun with some pub related activities. Grab a drink and snack and enjoy yourself.
- Bake Off – Can be done so easily through Facetime or any other medium of video calling. Find a recipe, set you and a friend or 2 a time limit and go. Winning isn’t the aim, as it’s hard to compare, however if you’re like me (I hate to lose) then you can always win! After all, the best cake is the one you’re eating right now.
I’m hoping to add some other options to this list as time goes by, but for now that will do. Being stuck indoors doesn’t mean you have to bored or alone. Get creative. Play jenga over skype, first one to knock their tower over loses. Create new rules for old games. For example, perhaps a game of Twister using video chat. Playing is a huge part of life, and I truly believe it will be the best way to get through this. We’re stuck inside but we’re not stuck doing nothing. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know!
Stay safe, and all the best