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Your Move: Playing Well With Others During COVID-19


I’m still working from home, and as important as social distancing is these days, sometimes I just want to play games with other people! Lots of games have a multiplayer component, but if you want to play Overwatch or the latest Call of Duty with your friends, all of you need to have a copy of the game and be playing on the same platform. That’s an expensive prospect, and I don’t think I’d have much luck convincing people to drop hundreds of dollars to spend an evening playing Destiny with me.


However, the Jackbox Party Pack games are practically made for playing remotely. They’re a collection of trivia and other simple games that can be played using a smartphone as a controller, and only the person hosting the game needs to buy a copy. If you on a Windows or Mac computer, you can share your screen using a video conference like Zoom or Google Meet, or stream the game on Twitch, and your friends can play with you using their phone. Most of the games support up to 8 players, although some of them support hundreds. I’ve done this half a dozen times in the last few weeks, and it’s usually a hit with everyone.


It’s not just video games I miss, either - my weekly Dungeons and Dragons game has been disrupted, too. Thankfully, there are several ways to play D&D online, with the most popular option called Roll20. It runs completely within your web browser, includes video and audio chat, and simulates everything you’d need to play D&D - dice, character sheets, and a map. My group has moved completely to Roll20, and honestly it’s sometimes easier than meeting in person every week.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.