Graphic by Lashall Richards
It has now been over a month since California has gone into lockdown, and people all over have been finding new ways to pass the time. Suddenly, party games such as Cards Against Humanity, Game Pigeon, Skribbl.io, and much more have had a surge in popularity.
Online party games have been popular for a long time in the online community because of their easy accessibility; they allow people all over the world to have fun and connect through what are essentially just board games. It was common for games like The Jackbox Party Pack series to be streamed on large platforms like Twitch.tv, where thousands of viewers are able to interact and have fun with their favorite content creators.
Before the lockdown, these kinds of interactive online experiences were popular in the online community but never really made it very far outside that demographic. Now online party games are getting more exposure than ever before due them being very simple and easy for anyone, young or old, to get the hang of. Luke Wauthy, a 7th grader at Walnut Creek Intermediate spoke about his experience with the genre: “Party games in general are very fun. You can play games and have fun with pretty much anyone of your friends.” Tristan Hinkans, a freshman at Guyer High School in Texas, said, “They are fun, quick games that I can easily play with my friends who live in other states.”
But what is Jackbox Party Pack, Skribbl.io, and Game Pigeon?
- Jackbox Party Pack
On the About Us page on Jackboxgames.com, it gives a brief description on what to expect out of their product, “Each pack contains a variety of different games that might ask you to draw weird doodles, write the best inside joke, or answer hilarious trivia questions. There are hours of laughs in every pack!” Jackbox Games are essentially online “board games” that allow the players to use their own creativity and sense of humor, so anybody can have a laugh.
- Game Pigeon
Game Pigeon is a simple app on your phone that allows people to easily play games like 8-ball, darts, and battleship all through text messages. It’s something easy to understand that anyone with a smartphone can play.
Today there has been a growing popularity of simple online games that use the domain ending “.io” for their websites. Skribbl.io is one of those games, and essentially it’s a free, online version of pictionary where all that’s needed is a link to share up to 8 of your friends and everyone can play together.
Not only are friend groups getting together playing these games, but families are too. With online group call programs like Zoom and Skype regaining popularity, large, extended families will get together and play. People young and old are able to reconnect again and enjoy the company of their friends and family through these games, which provide a temporary break from the reality that is shelter in place.