Friday, April 3, 2020

Party Games - Being social in isolation

The world is weird, let's have fun

Things are different right now. Things are changing - not for a short bit, but in ways that will leave ripples for a while. Generations. The world is experiencing a global pandemic right now and many countries and governments have encouraged or enforced isolation : avoid contact. The virus is contagious. Physical contact, sneezing & coughing or heavy breathing the wrong propinquity could get you infected. The world just cracked 1m cases of infection, and just over 50k deaths. And everyone is staying at home.

I'm sitting in a new country - relocated 3 weeks ago. South Africa, my nest, is under enforced lock down. California, which lies ahead of me, is also pretty shut down. I miss my family that isn't traveling with me (which is much more than blood). I am grateful for technology that helps keep in contact though.

Do You Like Tech?no

The weirdest thing is that while I've changed my physical presence to a new continent, I'm not any less isolated than the people I wanna keep in touch with. Everyone is staying in their homes. But we're not actually that isolated. My wife had her big TWENTY-EIGHT'th the other day (I've decided to start counting birthdays in hex from now on). A significant celebration with friends on these milestones has always been a biggie for her. She wanted connection. We had wifi.

So, on the Saturday morning, we launched a Zoom video conference room. Our family joined. Us far west. Parents and siblings, and other close friends in South Africa. More family in Germany. Nigeria. New Zealand. Neighbors [sic - we're Murican now] 3 blocks away. Camera's on. Mics on. The world really does fit into a living room. We were fortunate enough to not have anyone that needed the loo on the call.

Play on: recipe of the day (circa April 2020).

A new way to socialize is emerging. Playing game. Not just WhatsApp video calls or Zoom. But integrated social interaction. Here's a recipe that works well, and has been taken for granted. It's my suggestion to try this month:



  1. Host a Zoom call somewhere
  2. Fire up JackboxTV host. Join Zoom call if it's not the host.
  3. Share JackboxTV app + sound into the call.
  4. Every location joins the Zoom to follow the share. Big screens and loud speakers. Turn on your cam.
  5. Everyone joins the game from their phone - - follow the instructions. Every phone is a controller.
  6. Have fun.