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How to throw a virtual game under quarantine



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You don't have to celebrate your birthday alone.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

All over the country, more and more people have started throwing parties, celebrating birthdays and having graduation ceremonies with their friends and family ̵

1; of course at a distance. Because of quarantine friends and family have had to get creative when it comes to celebrating special days. If you want to throw a virtual party for yourself or someone else, we have several ideas to get you started.

For example, you can use a video chat platform like Zoom or Skype to throw a birthday party. You can also plan a night to play virtual games with friends using a video chat service or host a movie night with Netflix Party .

Remember that you will eventually have to plan meaningful events with your loved ones personally, but until then, here are some virtual party ideas to try during social distance.

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Have a Zoom party with friends and family.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Throwing a Zoom party

Whether it's your birthday or you've just graduated from high school or college, it's a huge milestone you want to share with your loved ones. And even if you can't see everyone in person, you can still share your big day with them by using a video tax service .

You have several services to choose from, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and Houseparty. Note that not everyone has used a video chat service, so it's best to send invitations to your friends and family in advance with instructions. For example, your parents or friends may never have used Zoom before, so a guide to help them learn how to use Zoom will help prevent interruptions.

When hosting your birthday or graduation party online, it's best to have it on your TV so you can easily see everyone. To do so, you can either send video clips from your iPhone or Android phone to your TV or connect your laptop to your TV .

Decorate your background with banners that say "Happy Birthday" or "Graduation Party" with balloons and streamers. Your friends and family can attend by having decorations as well. Give each person time to tell you a memory so you can remember.

Host a virtual gaming night

Plan a night where all your friends can play games for about an hour or two. Here are some options that allow larger groups to play.

Jackbox Games: When you play Jackbox Games, everyone logs in from their phones by going to jackbox.tv and entering the space code. You can start a video chat to see your friends while you play.

Heads Up !: With the video chat app Houseparty you can play Heads Up! and other games with up to eight friends at a time.

Minecraft: If you haven't played Minecraft with your friends, it's time to start. You create a virtual character and join a server with all your friends. You can chat with your guests while you play, but if you want voice chat you have to use FaceTime or Skype.

You can even plan a purge hunt for birthday related things that people can have around the house, such as birthday candles and balloons. The first person to take pictures of everything on the list wins.

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Angela Lang / CNET

Watch movies and TV shows at the same time

Host a movie night with your friends using a service like Netflix Party or AirTime app . Both let you watch movies simultaneously with friends by giving everyone the opportunity to pause or play a movie.

With Netflix Party, you can watch everything on Netflix while chatting in a sidebar with friends. With the AirTime app, you can watch YouTube videos while chatting with friends and have a selection of movies integrated into the app for you to choose from. Both are great options for catching up with friends while watching movies and videos.

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Your friends can decorate your driveway with chalk


Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

Let your loved ones decorate outside

There are so many ways your friends and family can let you know that they are thinking of you. An example is having a chalk section where they can decorate your driveway or sidewalk with chalk. They can also decorate your car with balloons and banners and window paint (if you allow it). Or they can simply drive by and wink or wave while sitting outside.

Need more ideas for almost hanging out with friends? Here are the best online games to play with friends under quarantine, nine ideas for virtual dates while social distancing and 11 things to do in quarantine when you've already made three breads with banana bread .





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