Level up your lockdown through online games

Everybody is over Zoom meetings already…so how can we continue to develop our relationships when we’re physically distant?

I love gaming in almost all its forms, and thanks to 2021 gaming is more and more prevalent and connects us in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it’s instant-all-in-together; sometimes it’s turn about while we chat; still other times you make your move and wait patiently for your challenger to make theirs.

If you want to take it serious enough there are now a number of professional eSports leagues for games around the world, with real money and incredible competition available. Let’s crawl before we can walk though, eh?

If you’re connected with primary-aged people you’ve probably dabbled with Minecraft – a great open-world builder that using its large blocks can allow you to make pretty much everything. Own a farm, design a skyscraper, battle the ghouls…it’s all a bunch of fun. The app costs and is available on most platforms, and I encourage you to play with your young people to get an understanding on it and also to help them understand about the perils that can sometimes surface with online play.

If you’ve teens or young adults you’ll probably have played at least one of the Jackbox games. Pay for a pack (it’s worth it!), and then set up a game, share the code, and then you can all participate in all sorts of wordplay, puns and stupid fun. There is a profanity filter you might want to consider turning on first too.

There’s all sorts of desktop games that have been re-created on your computer or tablet (especially on iPad), like Battleship, Monopoly, Cluedo and more. Some of these allow for local network gaming so everyone in your house can monitor their own cash and property portfolio and it spins the turns around as you play together.

Words With Friends (essentially wait your turn Scrabble online) is particularly popular with some of the older people in my house if you’re into that sort of thing too. They play on iPad however there’s also a Facebook embedded game too.

If there are consoles in your place there’s even more options. From the best multiplayer ever in Mario Kart (beware the blue-horned shell!), to more brutal battle royale/last-man-standing games like PUBG or Spellbreak there are lots of options that cost or are free or a combination of both. Some might be free but need a paid subscription to play with others online – find your friends or just test your skills with the best the world has to offer!

Particularly the latter allow you to connect with friends and play together (or against each other) and chat the entire time, which can be a great bonding experience or a good test of your friendly smack talk.

So jump on in. Play with your young people (trust me, they will teach you and they will school you…stupid Mario Kart). There’s lots of fun to be had together before you get online, and then there’s a world more fun when you get to play with friends you can’t spend time in person with right now. There’s also a great opportunity to talk about how an online life can mean people might not be who they say they are, and what is OK to share with people you don’t know in real life (IRL).

Want a friend? E-mail me and let’s connect on your favourite platform…just be ready for me to show you how it’s done. I’m also good at being humbled.

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Molk is the Senior Field Officer (North), and Young Adult ministry leader as a part of the PULSE team.

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