Now that summer’s here, you’re probably looking for all the fun things to do. Most times, say the word “games,” and instantly, all the latest video games pop in your head that you can play using the newest of gadgets or simply cell phones, laptops, and PCs. But, think about it, and there are lots of fun games you can play with friends that don’t involve digital devices.
Just in case your parents have been worrying about digital gadgets scrambling your brain, tell them that the newest studies published on The Guardian reveal a completely different scenario. Research conducted on a group of 4 to 11-year olds by the University of Michigan shows that “how children use the devices, not how much time they spend on them, is the strongest predictor of emotional or social problems connected with screen addiction.” As long as kids don’t display signs of other problems like bad behavior or spending less time doing other things like studying, they’re okay. Parents need to worry only if their kids have unhealthy family and social bonds, and start to withdraw into the digital world.
Even so, try these fun games you can play with friends when you’re bored of being at home cooped up with video games.
1. Escape Game Rooms
First invented in Japan, escape rooms are a fun and economical way to spend a few hours. All of you who have been watching “The Big Bang Theory” probably remember that episode where Leonard and his friends cracked one of them in under 6 minutes. Remember the zombie warning them there would be no refunds for finishing too soon?
You might like to know that most such games aren’t all that easy to unravel. You will be locked in a room with a group of 6 to 8 people. To get out, you must find the key within the stipulated 60 to 90 minutes. You’ll have to find and decipher a set of clues and puzzles to find the way out. Some prison escape games may include a series of rooms with a particular theme. Sign up for one of them with your friends and you’ll have a crazy time uncovering the secret that can “prevent the world from total annihilation.”
2. Create a Story
Here’s one of the fun games you can play with your friends even if they all can’t join you in a single location. Write a story with each of you contributing a phrase with say, a fixed number of words of 5 to the story line. For instance, you can begin with the words, “I once saw a tunnel,” and get your friends to add another 5 words per person and build the story. It’s actually fun to keep reading what the others come up with and the end story that you can all write together. Use the wildest of ideas to make it as challenging as possible for the next contributor.
3. Twenty Questions
Digital Trends explains how it IS possible to play 20 Questions with your friends using text messages. Let one person lead with a name, phrase, or place. Each of the other players gets to ask questions in turn until they can figure out what the original idea was. You can try a whole bunch of variations and restrictions to make it one of the most exciting and fun games you can play with friends. Incidentally, the game was first invented in the 19th century before the advent of radio and television. But, we can always adapt, can’t we?
4. Flip the Cup
This game is perfect for a lazy afternoon when all you friends are sitting around doing nothing. Collect a set of plastic cups and fill them with water. You can choose two colors if you intend to split the group into two teams. Let each player take turns in drinking the water, placing the cup straight up on the edge of the table, and flipping it with a flick. The catch? It has to land exactly upside down. Or, you get to flick it again. Try and see which team can have all their cups flipped first. (Psst! It’s not as easy as it sounds when you read about it!)
5. Navigate an Obstacle Course
Nothing new about this one and you’ve probably played it a million times before. But, it warrants mention simply because it is actually a fun game you can play with friends. The rules are straightforward. You can either split the group into teams with two players each. Or, take turns. Blindfold one of the players and direct him or her around the room to reach the other end. For an added twist, get the player to search for a hidden object by following the directions the other players call out. The winner is the player who can reach the prize the fastest.
When it comes to inventing fun games you can play with friends, you don’t need to search for ideas. You can try the craziest of stuff like using straws to move M&Ms or toothbrushes to balance Q-tips on bottle tops. The important thing is to enjoy the activity with lots of laughter and excitement.
Or, here’s another idea that may sound really hard. Take a tip from Quora and do a digital detox. Play a board game with your friends for a change. There’s Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders, and lots of card games. And, when you search around, you’ll actually find lots of variations of these basic games.
Try it! You might even enjoy playing!