Planning a virtual game night with friends can be a great way to safely socialize and keep everyone involved. Get a fun, relaxing break from everyday stresses with the perfect game night! A few tips can help you make the most of the night.
Plan the game night and be sure to send invites in advance that specify the time, date, and platform that is being used for the event. If it’s one that requires links or online invitations, such as a Zoom room, make sure to include the link and any passwords or meeting IDs with the invitation. Even with people spending more time at home, you never know when they may have other responsibilities, from work tasks to taking care of family, so planning the event ahead of time will help ensure more people can attend. Google Hangouts, Slack, and Houseparty are other apps or online options for group gaming or get-togethers. Have general start and end times so people have an idea of how long the game night will go. Check your internet speed to make sure you’ll have a good connection when it’s time to get the evening started.
Think about the interests of the people you’re hosting for the virtual game night and try to come up with games that will be interesting for everyone. Maybe you have a lively group of friends that will love trying to work together in virtual teams to compete, or maybe you have people that are a little more reserved and like more individualized games like trivia activities. Maybe your friends are really into music or movies, so contemporary trivia games could be a blast. Maybe you have a lot of word fanatics in your group and classic word games will get everyone having a great time. When you think about what your friends are like and what their interests are, you can tailor the games to what will be the best for the whole group so everyone has fun.
Once you’ve considered what types of games will be a good fit for your group of friends, choose the specific games you think will be best. Make sure you have a solid idea of the timeframe for each game from start to finish to keep things moving. Go over the rules of play in advance and any modifications that may be needed to play it virtually so you’re prepared to explain how to play each game and answer any questions once your “guests” arrive for the virtual games. If there is a possibility for a tie, consider what a tiebreaker might be so there’s a clear winner — or if you prefer it to be more relaxed, be ready to congratulate both persons or teams. You may need to use a shared online board or create a board you can show and share, depending on the games you choose. Card games, charades, Pictionary, and other party games are all popular. Many online board game websites also have lots of options to play classics virtually together.
Even though everyone is getting together virtually, it can be a lot of fun to have a theme for beverages and snacks. Invite everyone to come with a favorite glass of wine, a cozy cup of hot chocolate, or favorite iced tea. Planning a cute theme such as a beach theme or coffeehouse vibe will create a fun mood for everyone. Or, send out a few fun and easy snack recipes everyone can try — and share their results virtually for some extra fun.
Having some good lighting will make sure everyone can see you as you explain the games and discuss how things will go. If you’re planning this as an evening event, make sure the room where you’ll be has adequate lighting. Sometimes an extra lamp can come in handy to improve the amount of light. You’ll also want to make sure your coffee table, dining room, table, or other space where you’ll be streaming video is clear of excess clutter and you’ll be able to show anything necessary for the games with ease. Grab some favorite throw pillows and a cozy monogrammed blanket and get ready for the games!
Even if it’s virtual, you still want to look good for your event. Plan to wear a nice top even if you’re wearing comfortable pants. Polo tops, summer blouses, V-neck tops or tees, and lightweight women's cotton sweaters are all great choices. Cute summer dresses are also great options, and you can always layer a light jacket or button-up top over them as well. Throw on some fabulous earrings and a touch of lip gloss to look great for the game night without going overboard.
In many ways, a virtual game night is also virtually stress-free. Once you’ve done a little prep work to make sure everything will run smoothly, you can sit back, relax, and have some fun with friends and your favorite games!