Webapps for Social Distancing

We’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our lives are being changed by the lockdowns, cancelled group meetings, and mandated social distancing. I’ve always been fascinated with screen sharing apps, video chat, and video sharing experiences which require no downloading and exist solely in a web browser, and now more than ever is a perfect time to put them to use. Here’s my list of favorites which I think will make the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic a little easier for staying connected with friends and family.

Before I get to the list, would you like some emergency supplies shipped to your door?

Kosmi.io

https://kosmi.io/

Kosmi is a relatively new digital hangout medium. Rooms in Kosmi can run one of several apps from Kosmi’s feature list. There are apps for watching youtube videos together, sharing screens, video chat, and games.

Chris’s recommendation: Use a Chromium-based browser such as Chromium.

Untap.in

https://untap.in/

This one may only apply to a small amount of people interested, but it’s rather good at what it does. Untap.in is a webapp for playing Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, YuGiOh, Weiss Schwarz.. Just about any Trading Card Game you can think of. The way Untap.in is able to support such a wide variety of games is that it doesn’t enforce how cards are placed on the table or drawn or anything. Instead, it’s up to the players to follow the rules of their chosen game.

Chris’s recommendation: Play on your laptop/desktop computer– Phone screens are too small!

Tabletopia

https://tabletopia.com/

Tabletopia is a way to play board games with friends in your browser. This isn’t a video game as you may be expecting it, Tabletopia is a little different. Tabletopia gives you the tools to play a board game, as if you were physically with the person you were with. There are no rules enforced by Tabletopia, there are no guides teaching you how to play, and there is nothing other than the other player’s vigilance to stop you from cheating!

Instead, you or the players must know how to play each game which is available. For this reason, I find it best to choose a game which at least one player already knows how to play. That way, the knowledgeable player can instruct the others, and the experience is much more enjoyable than everyone in the game being clueless and struggling to figure out what to do. If you have time and the patience and want to learn a new game, I find watching YouTube tutorials the easiest way to learn a game. Heck, you could even use bingetogether or Kosmi to synchronously watch a tutorial video together!

Tabletopia offers a free (limited) option, as well as two pay options ($4.99 or $9.99 per month) which enable a larger choice of games and extra features.

Chris’s recommendation: Keep it simple and experience the nostalgia with Checkers!

Binge Together

https://bingetogether.com/

This one was made by a developer as a way to cope with their boredom brought on by the COVID-19 quarantine. Thus it is very appropriate for usage to spend some quality time with friends while maintaining the ongoing mandated social distancing! Bingetogether works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, and Vimeo. It’s not just for Chrome users, either, which is a very welcome diversion from the trend that seems to favor Chrome-based browsers. Team Firefox, woot!

Pretend You’re Xyzzy

https://pyx-2.pretendyoure.xyz/zy/game.jsp

Pretend You’re Xyzzy is a Cards Against Humanity clone, with a lot of flexibility and a wide assortment of cards.

Never played Cards Against Humanity? Simply put, Cards Against Humanity is an outrageous party game for adults in which the goal of the game is to play the best card in your hand which fits the theme of the card drawn by the dealer. What qualifies as best card is up to the dealer of each round. The dealer chooses the card they think is the best, which depending on their personality, may fall into funniest, outrageous, or possibly the most offensive card! This game isn’t for everyone, but with the right group of friends, it’s the best!

UberConference

https://www.uberconference.com/

Sometimes a phone call with your friend is just what you need. I found this app especially useful for getting family members together to play tabletopia, knowing that not everyone has access to PC headset. Uberconference lets all participants connect using a traditional telephone, or a web browser. Uberconference has extended their call duration for free accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is especially welcoming for those who need a short-term solution for this time of mandated social distancing.

Chris’s recommendation: Uberconference is worth using even if just to experience the hold music!

???

Do you know of an app which belongs in this list? Let your opinion be known and leave a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.