Lex Friedman blogs here.

Lex is the Chief Revenue Oficer for ART19, the world's biggest podcasting company.

He was previously Chief Business Development Officer at Midroll, Macworld's senior writer, and the co-founder of a diet tracking website in the pre-iPhone era. Not all at the same time.

He is the cohost of the Not Playing podcast, a cohost of the Turning This Car Around podcast, a cohost of the The Rebound podcast, and the sole host of the Your Daily Lex podcast.

Lex's first book, The Snuggie Sutra, is exactly what it sounds like. His most recent book is a Dr. Seuss parody for adults; it's called The Kid in the Crib.

You should follow Lex on Twitter.

The games we play

I am a board game / party game person. I enjoy games of creativity and laughter and whatnot. Especially whatnot. I literally can't get enough whatnot. There was a time doctors tried to overwhelm my system with whatnot, and it couldn't be done.

I may be slightly stir-crazy. It's possible this post could already use some editing, but editing is definitely a pre-Covid-19 thing, if you ask me.

Here are some of the ways I've been socially gaming with friends during this shelter-at-home situation. Each of these games assumes you'll also be video-chatting live with the people you're playing with.

1. I love the game Codenames. I feel guilty playing knockoff versions, but not so guilty that I don't play knockoff versions. I play an asynchronous knockoff on iOS with strangers, but with real-life friends, I play at the confusingly-URL'ed horsepaste.com. It's great and works intuitively. 

2. I backed Inhuman Conditions on Kickstarter, and it's a great game for two players, particularly those who love improvising. Because it's open source, you can play the entire game online in various ways. It's better in person, and it's better with the cards, but this is a very reasonable facsimile. Get on a call with your pal, share a room code, and get to work figuring out if your opponent is a human or a robot. 

3. I love all Jackbox Games. I love the people who make Jackbox Games, and am friends with some of them. Drawful 2 is currently free at this writing in many places, and the other games range between cheap and reasonable. Buy them. Point a device at your TV screen, point your second device at your faces, and play. These games can also run directly on your computer via Steam, and then you can just share your screen. 

Some Jackbox Games prioritize speed; most don't. Quiplash, Fibbage, Split the Room, Drawful, Mad Verse City, Dictionarium, Joke Boat, and more all work great. 

4. I feel a smidgen guilty about enjoying Use Your Words, which is a knockoff of Jackbox Games. But this game, available on Steam and most consoles, is like Quiplash, but with a rotation of different prompt styles — subtitling movies, captioning/headlining photos, and a less-inspired fill-in-the-blank mode. It works slightly less well than Jackbox over video sharing, but still works and can cause laughter. Assuage any Jackbox guilt by buying every Jackbox game before you buy this one. That's what I did.

5. Scattegories. You heard me. Scattegories is a great game, and it works well over video. Websites make it easier. 

6. Most video chatting apps have some kind of drawing mode. Zoom, despite its numerous privacy flaws, has a solid whiteboard mode. That makes it easy to play Pictionary/Win Lose or Draw style games, or hangman. Or even tic tac toe, if you're desperate.

Stay safe out there. Or rather, in there. Stay home. Play games. Talk to friends online. I care about you. 

Posted on March 31st, 2020