How about some fun community indoor activities? March 15, 2020 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I can already tell I'm going to get hungry for more human interaction. Inspired by stuff like the "Quarantine Cooking" article by mefi's own beijingbrown and the article about Japanese "drinking online" and Chinese "cloud raves," I'm wondering if we could do some fun social stuff as a group that would make things less lonely.

Some initial ideas:

1. Group cooking/baking lessons or competitions, where people present what they've done either in blogs somewhere or as Youtube videos.
2. Group dance competitions.
3. Group art projects.
4. Music challenges (like we all play the same song on ukuleles or whatever you have around the house).

Or really, anything that allows for us to feel like we're doing something live and/or physical in community, and which allows for sharing of photographs and videos. Got any other ideas?
posted by hungrytiger to MetaFilter-Related at 12:31 PM (69 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

I'm a part of a film club and we're modifying our semi-weekly hangouts to all watch a film in our own homes and then sharing our thoughts as we watch in a "live-tweet" kind of style. It still allows us to watch "together" albeit in a modified way. That's how we've adapted our little club so that we can still have some sense of normalcy.

This is a good post and I'm looking forward to other projects and/or ways we can still engage and be social with one another to help pass the time and feel more normal with how we all live.
posted by Fizz at 1:42 PM on March 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

Ooh, I love the idea of live film club. That’s a good one!
posted by hungrytiger at 2:14 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I really like the idea of folks doing stuff like this! I've been nursing a "hey, let's all make some dang art" post and may do that sometime in the next few days in the same spirit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:30 PM on March 15, 2020 [15 favorites]

I've been thinking it would be nice to have an online board game meetup. I've thought about organizing it myself, but I actually don't know much about what options are out there. But if anyone has good suggestions, I'm in!
posted by Tsuga at 3:42 PM on March 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

With regards to a "live film club", maybe we could coordinate with a special event on FanFare and all decide on a specific film and then all tune in in the evening and watch and comment. We all agree to pick something that is widely available to rent or stream. We could also make it an MST3K kind of an event. Just throwing some thoughts out there. Would be interested to hear what others think about this.
posted by Fizz at 3:49 PM on March 15, 2020 [11 favorites]

We should make art. I’m hanging out in my apartment feeling very anxious and trying to come up with things to distract my brain from all the unknown scary things about where we’re at now (San Jose, CA). I have visual art tools (and at least moderate skills); I have music tools (but no musical skills). Part of me wants to try and write some kind of little game in Unity because that’s probably the thing I’m best at (also closest to what I get paid to do, and I suspect that while I might hack up mechanics, testing and bug fixing is too much like my day job).

I would be down for some kind of community.. something.. structured.. thing. For sure. Motivation and camaraderie are good things at a time like this.
posted by Alterscape at 3:51 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

It would be fun to do some sort of collab music project.
posted by signal at 4:44 PM on March 15, 2020 [8 favorites]

I keep thinking that I picked the right time to begin a rewatch of The X-Files oeuvre. I've been watching one episode a night, and creating a post for whatever episodes aren't already in the FanFare database, which is most of them. I intend to keep going until I've done the entire original nine seasons, plus the two movies. There are existing threads for seasons 10 and 11 that we can add our comments to if we want. You're all more than welcome to join those of us who've been participating in that.
posted by orange swan at 5:46 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Jackbox Party Packs are where it's at y'all.

For the uninitiated, Jackbox games are these fun party minigames that you play with friends and your phones. For each game, you open a "room" on the jackbox website, and people play by signing into that room and playing the game on their phones/tablets/whatever. As long as everybody can see your screen and sign into the room, you're in business! I had a riot last night playing long-distance jackbox with some buddies over Discord (using the voice channel) last night.

Personally, I get the most mileage out of Fibbage, Quiplash, and Drawful. Also Trivia Murder Party but you can't get that one a la carte.

It might be interesting to do a jackbox party with mefi folks -- if you're interested make some noise?
posted by snerson at 6:24 PM on March 15, 2020 [18 favorites]

I've played JackBox via Discord before, and had fun doing it. I would be down to meet other socially-distancing mefites and make stupid puns with them!

I know we did a "pictionary + telephone by mail" game a bit ago on metatalk. I don't know if a mobile or desktop implementation exists, but I'd totally play it if it did.

There are also online multiplayer versions of a lot of card games like Spite and Malice / Skip-bo, Cribbage, etc. I'd be down for those things too.

Or, yanno, regular ol' multiplayer video games, but at this point I feel like diversifying what I'm into is a good thing!
posted by Alterscape at 7:26 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Maybe some more mefite Dungeon and Dragon gaming groups?
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:10 PM on March 15, 2020 [14 favorites]

Song or limerick competition
posted by The Toad at 8:19 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just organized a virtual happy hour on Zoom, with friends from fb who expressed interest. There were about 20 people all together. Unfortunately my cheap Zoom account only lets me schedule 40 minute meetings, so I'm working to fix that for next week. Mostly people introduced themselves and we chatted about a few things. It was good to see people's faces and just generally connect.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:01 PM on March 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Some sort of knit/crochet-along for the yarnies? Arne and Carlos are planning to have a free one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:01 PM on March 15, 2020 [7 favorites]

Back when MonkeyFilter existed, we had this game called M.O.N.K.E.Y. which led to lonngggg threads that I think might have somewhat annoyed tracicle (whose site it was). But it was fun!

How it works:
you read the last sentence posted,
look at the last word of that sentence,
then post a sentence of your own.

The letters of last word of the previous sentence
become the first letter of every word
of your sentence.

Your sentence may relate to the previous one, or not.


Eerie xylophone ambient music, played loudly, enchants snails.

Ships never anchor in lakes, Stuart.

Swab those underdecks and reef topsails.

posted by Pallas Athena at 9:18 PM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

(I've just realised that you asked for phone games, and that technically isn't one. But it is a good game for chat apps, community weblogs and such.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:20 PM on March 15, 2020

I'm confused about Jackbox-- do you have to set up a camera on your computer screen it something, or does the game have a long distance option?
posted by meese at 9:24 PM on March 15, 2020

With permission, I'm going to have some proactive time, I'd like to post, in comment, a micro story I just polished. It's called 'Belling Larry'. Mainly about my father. Or could we have a thread for stuff to share. long as those post with 'alot inside, a thousand words? Like a literaryishish thread. Off your topic hungry tiger but good meta can produce more good meta.
posted by clavdivs at 9:56 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seriously, the man put bells on my socks.
posted by clavdivs at 9:57 PM on March 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

March 16
The Writing Simulators Waging War on Loneliness
In light of current social distancing recommendations, indie game developer Demi Schänzel (twitter) has made their game The Library of Babble... Explore a simple procedurally-generated landscape filled with tiny stories written by other players,
[more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 12:55 AM
1 comment (1 new) +

Ok, I'm having a meta moment here.
posted by clavdivs at 10:06 PM on March 15, 2020 [1 favorite]


(The fantasy is that the season will start before May. But you can still make your rankings, do the math, and join us for an online draft at some point in the mid-term future. And then we can amuse ourselves with trade offers.)

(srsly, we have 6 teams, and we want at least 10, if you've ever wanted to do this, sign up. Click on my name and scroll down for the signup link.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:26 AM on March 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

meese I'm confused about Jackbox-- do you have to set up a camera on your computer screen it something, or does the game have a long distance option?

Discord (a chatting/texting app) has the ability for a user to show their desktop to other users. So anything I have up on my desktop I can show other people. So the "host" player has a game open on their desktop, and is sharing that view with other people. Jackbox games have other players "sign into" a room by using a code that they show on each game (viewable from the "host's" screen). So as long as you can see the screen, and view the code, you can "sign in" from wherever; Jackbox doesn't care where you are in the world as long as you have the right code.
posted by snerson at 6:00 AM on March 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks, snerson!

I have jackbox on the PS4, rather than my laptop, so it sounds like I wouldn't be able to host.
posted by meese at 7:31 AM on March 16, 2020

@Huffy Puffy,

I joined. I know next to nothing about baseball, I know some positions and a bunch of big name Texas Ranger players from the 90s and some random Blue Jays player names, and that's about it. And those are mostly because of geography, who I pick should be hilarious to those of you who are good at this type of thing.
posted by Fizz at 7:51 AM on March 16, 2020

I would buy a JackBox pack to host, 'cause this is relevant to my partner's interests too.

There's also Drawception, which is the online Telestrations thing I was trying to remember earlier.
posted by Alterscape at 7:57 AM on March 16, 2020

How about a sitewide spring clean-along? every week we get a prompt on an area or a subject to clean. We could share before and afters and complain about how TF our places got this dusty.

Week 1 -- washing the fabric stuff that doesn't get washed otherwise... curtains, shower curtains, any rugs that can go in the washer, cushions, pillows, etc

other weeks could be dusting, mopping, windows, "remove everything on a horizontal surface and scrub the hell out of it," (shudder) bathtub scrubbing.
posted by snerson at 8:55 AM on March 16, 2020 [17 favorites]

I wonder if (temporarily!) creating a sub-site for all of these may be an option, so people can find them? Something akin to the IRL sub-site?

…I'd be interested in some of the cooking things, and I'm wondering if I ought to launch some kind of a classic movie virtual club.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:57 AM on March 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Just saw that frimble added "online" to the location options for meetups - thanks, Frimble!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:07 AM on March 16, 2020 [8 favorites]

I have jackbox on the PS4, rather than my laptop, so it sounds like I wouldn't be able to host.

My friends use skype and just have whatever device is running skype angeled so that it can see the tv.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:30 AM on March 16, 2020

Anyone wanna dig out their Zaireeka! CD and do a Google Hangouts?
posted by carsonb at 11:35 AM on March 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Roll20 was very overloaded for my Saturday afternoon game, but friends transitioning to use it for D&D tell me that the servers rebounded some yesterday morning. I think more MeFi online D&D games would be a great idea, especially one-shots so that folks can join in on a more ad-hoc basis.

One thing I was mentioning at the Whelk this morning on Twitter: would folks like to have a make-your-own-FPP online meetup? I have a list of like 30 weird topics, and maybe if we work together we can flood the Blue with totally non-coronavirus-related stuff for a while. Plus folks could practice making and framing FPPs in a low-pressure environment. Is there interest in doing something like that?
posted by sciatrix at 11:40 AM on March 16, 2020 [7 favorites]

I would 100% join a Mefite D&D group.
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 12:37 PM on March 16, 2020 [8 favorites]

I'm currently figuring out Roll20 for my D&D group -- as I'm doing that, I'll also think about whether I have bandwidth to DM some one-shots.

There are also lots of awesome shorter TTRPGs that I've been wanting to play, and could be played in a single session. Anyone interested in, for instance, Night Witches, Lasers and Feelings, Honey Heist, and/or Goblin Quest?
posted by ourobouros at 1:08 PM on March 16, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'd been meaning to try Lasers and Feelings for some time--the McElroy brothers make it look like such fun!--but the description of Night Witches sounds incredibly cool. I'd be interested in trying any of 'em.
posted by sciatrix at 1:18 PM on March 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

RE: Art projects
Long ago, several of the terrible shitposters at SomethingAwful managed to get together and design a digital artistic mural. I honestly don’t remember why, but it was a fun community project that killed some time for awhile. We—I mean, they divided up a grid and posters volunteered to draw one cell each, like a quilt. But you had to make sure part of the drawing got cut off in order to encourage other people to continue it on their cells. Basically, it was a giant exquisite corpse.
posted by Arson Lupine at 1:35 PM on March 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Yes! Ideas wanted.
Three existing Mefi resources I'll point to, for people who want to get moving on organizing their own thing:

(1) IRL online - frimble has created an "online" meetup category for the IRL subsite if people want to schedule things that way (thanks frimble!).

(2) Fanfare - There are Fanfare Clubs if people want to organize media viewings or readings/etc. Can do that by making a post under Fanfare Talk too.

(3) Mefi Chat room - always available, activity waxes and wanes but all are welcome there, and we could talk about setting aside separate channel if people want for an event.

Also good to make Metatalks.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:39 PM on March 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Fizz, I've been thinking about a movie club too. I was thinking we could all watch an agreed-upon movie at an agreed upon time... While logged into a Zoom conference. We could talk (and mute each other) as suited us and chat too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:16 PM on March 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I want to do an online movie watching event to watch Contagion. basically, stream it from somewhere, and we all chat. LobsterMitten, could we have a separate chat room? I hated to ask because you guys are so busy, was looking into Discord after some side conversations.

/high-fives Fizz.
posted by theora55 at 6:11 PM on March 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

For a resource on #1: Group cooking/baking lessons or competitions, where people present what they've done either in blogs somewhere or as Youtube videos. — a friend gave me the head’s up that Milk Street (Christopher Kimball’s newish venture post-Cook’s Illustrated) has made their online cooking courses free through April.

I’m actually happy to not have to leave my house and socialize and am not sure when/if I will start longing for more social interaction. Nonetheless, I am curious if my social anxiety around meetups would be lessened if it was an online meetup! At the very least I’m going to try to participate in some of the online community-minded opportunities y’all are planning. Very grateful for this place right now.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:13 PM on March 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Alterscape I am having a ton of fun with Drawception! Thanks for linking to it.
posted by Mizu at 11:30 PM on March 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

read books
posted by philip-random at 11:54 PM on March 16, 2020

I want to do an online movie watching event to watch Contagion. basically, stream it from somewhere, and we all chat. LobsterMitten, could we have a separate chat room? I hated to ask because you guys are so busy, was looking into Discord after some side conversations.

I've added a "watch" room to the chat. Hope that helps.
posted by frimble (staff) at 2:34 AM on March 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

We just had our first test run of an IRL without the RL (zoom). Now it occurs to me that we wouldn't have to limit it to local mefites anymore either.

Although I think overseas people might not be up for drinking heavily at their breakfast hour. Or maybe they would. It's strange times.
posted by lollusc at 2:43 AM on March 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

Metafilter: what happens when you put uniquely qualified and bored people together

What about forming a movement to get the government to tax the monopolies and use the funds to give actual money to the population for the next six months? Frame the inevitable pushback as a choice between sending a car into space or saving lives. Write to the newspapers and get published, take out an ad, use your connections to do things I cannot dream of.

We have the time and as metafilter has always argued, people can fight for more than one thing. So games and a change in the status quo?
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 6:07 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've added a "watch" room to the chat. Hope that helps.

That's a good place to host the chat portion, we now just need to decide on a film. If someone wants to make a dedicated MetaTalk, we can then find a way to hold some kind of nomination/poll to decide what we watch and when. I'm down for this 100%
posted by Fizz at 7:55 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some sort of knit/crochet-along for the yarnies?

Yes, yes! My warmest hello to everyone after quite an absence from this site but especially a shout out here to my fellow knitters. The Metafilter knitting/crocheting group at Ravelry is a great location to do this. I'm working on a black lace sequinned shawl in case our local symphony ever re opens and it would be fun to talk about that and whatever other projects people have going there.
posted by bearwife at 9:40 AM on March 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm missing euchre night, dammit. Time to find the best online version so I can still hang with my cards-night crew. Anyone know the best one off the top of their head as I begin searching? Something that doesn't force you to play against a computer... it's been a couple decades since I played Yahoo Games! euchre, but it was pretty good for its time.
posted by heyho at 9:42 AM on March 17, 2020

No Contagion yet, but there's now Netflix with friends
posted by Mchelly at 11:19 AM on March 17, 2020

Mchelly, that Netflix party thing looks ideal.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:45 AM on March 17, 2020

Frimble, That's great, thank you! Today's Tuesday, may I schedule Thursday evening at 9 EDT? too late for the East Coast, too early for the West Coast, but, shrug, what can you do. Contagion is widely available on streaming services for under 5US.
posted by theora55 at 12:15 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Anyone wanna dig out their Zaireeka! CD and do a Google Hangouts?

As long as everyone else has disc 3...
posted by hwyengr at 1:35 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here's The Guardian crossword online for multiple people to solve at once. Really think this could be quite fun.
posted by ambrosen at 2:07 PM on March 17, 2020

Can someone who's tried Netflix Party report back? I may want try that out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 AM on March 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

My ukulele group is not meeting now, so I have been posting recordings of me playing one of our favorite songs a day, so that others can play along.
Setting up to do this on YouTube, where I've just been a lurker all these years.
posted by MtDewd at 9:03 AM on March 18, 2020

If you need some outside or exercise/active time, and like working towards goals, here's the the unofficial MLTSHP marathon. "Become the alpha-introert by practicing running the farthest away from everyone else."
The “Challenge”: Walk, run, row, bike, etc. a marathon distance (26.2 miles/42.19 km) between now and APRIL 1. You have 16 days (depending on when you read this). Can’t do that specifically (you’re quarantined?) but want to participate? Aho ho ho, you’re still invited! Read on!
While some of you have access to trails or parks or places where you can SAFELY maintain isolation, some of you don’t. Some of you have backyards, some just balconies. Some of you can’t run at all/can’t leave the home/have just one room. Some of you have exercise equipment at home, some don’t. This is for everybody, so if you want to do something else, then you most definitely can. The only “rule” is to try and be active most days, so here’s some other ideas for inspiration (but by no means limited to):
*Work through a series of some of the wonderful on-line at-home exercise videos being offered out there right now.
*Try for X push-ups a day/week or even work up to being able to do 1 push-up at the end of 2 weeks.
*Walk up and down your backyard for 5 minutes, or spend 10 minutes doing yard work each day;
*Get a 10 minute walk in before you start work;
*Do X flights of stairs every day;
*Knee problems? In a wheelchair? Maybe something like X number of bicep curls;
*20 minutes of meditation or yoga in your backyard, balcony, or front step;
*Get up and do a loop or several around your space every two hours;
*Run X errands for an elderly neighbor who is self-quarantined.
Etc. You get the picture!
From MeFite barchan on MLTSHP.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:13 AM on March 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

On Tumblr, I asked people to message me with a list of whatever craft supplies they have on hand (including stuff like egg cartons & cardboard) and I give them a project to make with those materials.

Will report back on how those turn out!
posted by nonasuch at 4:43 PM on March 18, 2020 [5 favorites]

There are two posts on the Blue about academic publishers making their textbooks available online - some sort of read-along might work. Fanfare? Project Muse and Women's History. Cambridge University Press.
posted by paduasoy at 1:55 AM on March 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

does everyone have to own the party pack to play or just one host person
posted by lazaruslong at 9:13 AM on March 19, 2020

Just the host!
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on March 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

How about an emergency MeFi Music Mixtape Swap?
posted by lowest east side at 9:45 AM on March 19, 2020

Thanks, JHarris! "In other news, for the extent of the pandemic, the MST Club video room will be open between shows with a playlist of as-broadcast MST episodes, funny YouTube finds, and other special appearances, for bored social distancers dropping-in."
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

cool i googled around and looked at some diff reviews of the party packs and picked up #3

not sure what the best way to link up for a game will be, but i'm up for planning something with people
posted by lazaruslong at 3:37 PM on March 19, 2020

Watched Contagion with dirtyoldtown and pickles_have_souls, and I recommend them as movie companions. Recommend more movies for movie nights.
posted by theora55 at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2020

#3 is the best because it has the t-shirt game. The t-shirt game is phenomenal. Particularly if not sober when playing.
posted by lollusc at 3:23 AM on March 20, 2020

It looks like there isn't a way to share your Discord info with members only right now. That said, I will offer my Discord contact to anyone who MeMails me. I'm also on the MeFightClub discord, for those with overlap.
posted by Alterscape at 1:18 PM on March 20, 2020

I don't think there's a way to get notifications for the new online meetups, so for those who didn't see it snerson is hosting a Jackbox session at 7:30pm EDT this evening. Hope you can join us!
posted by Riki tiki at 3:10 PM on March 29, 2020

Does anyone know of a good Zoom alternative that isn't Zoom? The enormous-beyond-reason security hole of a web server they installed and ran on every single Mac that ever had Zoom installed (even if it was uninstalled) that came to light last year implied that maybe the makers of Zoom are not super concerned about, like, security or privacy so much
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:24 AM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

I haven’t used it yet, but have heard lots of recommendations for Jitsi, an open source alternative to Zoom.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 8:14 AM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Metatalktail Hour: Phone Games   |   What's the worst, most annoying book you've ever... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments