Who else loves themselves a game night?! ME! ME!
Let’s face it, we are all currently facing the same life struggle: feeling totally isolated and anti-social in the midst of social distancing in efforts to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus. Yes, we believe in staying home for the greater good but darn-it, it gets lonely. Luckily, technology is working in our favor. We can stream almost anything online from workout classes to children’s story time. To...game night!
My sisters and I did a fun couples game night where we were all able to video chat and play some fun games together, all from the comfort of our own homes (and even a few states away!). This was such a great idea to take a night off from the dreaded scrolling of social media and feel like you are just hanging out to get your mind off all the heavy out there right now.
I thought I’d put together detailed instructions of how to set this up. Don’t be intimidated, it’s really super easy and I'm not a "gamer" by nature. It probably took me 30-40 minutes to get it all purchased, downloaded and setup and then our group played for 3 hours! And now we are setup to play whenever with lots of different groups of family & friends, hooray! Social distancing won't keep us apart!
Here are the step-by-step instructions to HOST a virtual game night. To be an attendee, you don't need to purchase the game/app, you'd just skip down to the video chat section to participate if someone has it setup.
Game-maker: Setup Game on computer
- Be sure to purchase for “Steam” (PC/Mac/Linux), so players can be remote
- You will receive a confirmation email with an activation code
Step 2: Make account on https://store.steampowered.com/ and install “Steam” application onto your computer
Step 3: In the Steam application on your computer, follow instructions to upload purchased game(s) using activation code (you will receive a PDF with instructions in your email from JackBox Games). It will take a little while to download (my pack took about 15 minutes).
Setup video chat
- Zoom is free to make an account, but free accounts are limited to 40 minute video calls
- Google Hangout is free/no time limit, but each attendee needs a google account
Step 2: Invite friends via email link to join group video call
Step 3: Once everyone is on the video call, all attendees should go to jackbox.tv on their phones (which will be their game controllers). Then they will wait for game codes once each game begins.
Step 4: Game-maker: Once everyone is on the video call, while in zoom/google hangout, click “share my screen” and then switch your screen to the “Steam” application to run the games!
FYIs/tips for Game-maker/Setup:
- Audio: You can play with the audio volume in “Help & Options” on the game home screen so you can turn the game audio down a bit so you can still talk/hear the group video chat)
- If you own JackBox games on another device (FireStick or TV) unfortunately you cannot transfer it to a computer, so you'll have to buy purchase it specifically for PCs as mentioned in instructions.
Games we loved: Drawful (you use your phone to draw pictionary style), and Fibbage. The packs are a really good bang for your buck and it makes it fun to be able to change up the games!
Happy game-night-ing! If you share a photo on Instagram of your virtual game night, tag me on Instagram (@mallorykiesow) so I can see! 🙂