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Fun little games for LDR.
September 11, 2011 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Internet interactivity for long-distance relationship; games for non-gamer girlfriend.

Hey friends,

This is a relatively common question (and I've read the threads), but I wanted to add enough of a twist that I made a new one. I'm a month and a half in to a 4 month separation with my girlfriend. We've started at this point to email a tad less, and to run out of things to say over skype. We're still solid on all counts, just maybe a bit bored sending and receiving "I miss you" messages throughout the day.

So! Interactive entertainment in the year 2011! I'm trying to think of fun ways she and I could do stuff together online, sometime like a co-op game. Scrabble has been and is fun, but something a bit more active/simultaneous would be good. What fun web 3.0 things can you think of? Online whiteboards, simple cooperative games, point-and-click adventures? She isn't a gamer at all and I only game somewhat. Therefore, simple "slowly build toward the goal without much dexterity challenge" would be good.

I dunno, anything really. Just ways of interacting that would give us something to chat and laugh about. Lightweight is preferable, browser based is good and something with a light desktop client is better. I run Ubuntu or Windows on a netbook that can't handle much - she has Windows.

Thanks!
posted by Buckt to Human Relations (21 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
private room on turntable.fm
posted by ansate at 3:04 PM on September 11, 2011


If you have Skype, and webcams -- BOARD GAMES! No joke, board games. Whip out a Settlers of Catan board, or some of the more recent co-op type card games (I just bought the Lord of the Rings card game which is a co-op game!), and play on Skype.

Less co-op interactive are the options at Choice of Games, being a choose-your-own-adventure type thing.

You can play the Civilization games online, which can be done co-op. Steam has Civ 4 (arguably better than 5 anyway, sigh) and it's pretty simple to start off. It CAN get really complex, but doesn't have to.
posted by Heretical at 3:05 PM on September 11, 2011


You say she's not at all a "gamer" but plays Scrabble, right? How does she feel about card/board games in general? I've had good times on the old-school Yahoo! Games service. They've got a bunch of card games like hearts/spades/bridge/canasta/cribbage. Some of those can be played 2v2, which might be fun for you guys to play while on skype. They seem to have an enormous catalog these days. I'd poke around in there and see if something catches your collective eyes at various points on the cooperative/competitive spectrum.
posted by heresiarch at 3:07 PM on September 11, 2011


I have watched movies with my sister in the US. The pain in the arse factor makes it An Event. You have to both get the same film, cue them to the same point (pro tip: pick a name on the titles), pop popcorn or whatever, set aside 2 hours, etc. It actually is a shared experience. It's nice.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:09 PM on September 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh My God if you guys played Go Fish or Old Maid via skype I might die of the cuteness. Do it.
posted by Sara C. at 3:09 PM on September 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


How about Glitch? It's a very cute, non-adversarial, undifficult MMO where you can dress up your avatar in cute outfits and interact with other players through kisses and hugs and gift-giving.
posted by bewilderbeast at 3:11 PM on September 11, 2011


My boyfriend had to move to another country for work several months back, and it's still long distance. We skype, email, gchat, etc. Something that we've started to do (that we didn't really do together in person, don't know why) is follow the news a little more closely to discuss whatever things are going on (and sometimes gossip about our friends...shh, don't tell). I've found out that we're a lot more alike than I ever thought we were. We both get outraged about the same things, debate and solve problems in the same way, and come down on the same side of ethical issues, which neither of us really realized before.

We also send each other stupid jokes that we hear. And we also talk about whatever we're reading; it's worked out lately that I've been reading stuff that he's previously read, and he's been reading stuff that I've previously read, so it's kind of like a quasi book club. Also, we watched Misfits together (me on hulu, him on channel 4 on demand), which was nice. And we watch stupid youtube videos of bunnies together.

No need to break out the games, yet.
posted by phunniemee at 3:13 PM on September 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to second watch movies together. My bf and I are long distance and this is one of our favorite activities at night. We pick a movie, download it, start it at the same time. Often times we'll watch a movie that one of us loves but the other hasn't seen. This intensifies the feeling of closeness, knowing the other's relationship to the movie. While the movie is going we'll keep a chat open and comment on things here and there.
posted by timsneezed at 3:16 PM on September 11, 2011


Oh yeah, +1 to the co-movie/tv watching. Definitely done that with great success in the past. It's a bit of a hassle to organize if it's not on Hulu or Netflix or whatever, but it's fun when it works. My friend and I just used a phone call in parallel with listening and it was neat.
posted by heresiarch at 3:25 PM on September 11, 2011


Online pictionary - you'll have lots of fun making fun of each others' drawings .
posted by smokingmonkey at 3:28 PM on September 11, 2011


My suggestion's a little out there, so I'm not sure if you'll find it useful or not. At any rate, most people who don't like games actually do like point-and-click adventures, in my experience. Do you think you could play one of those simultaneously while talking over Skype? It'd be a great way for you to use your noggins together. :)

If so, try Samarost. If you like it, there's a part 2, and that indie game developer's full-length game, Machinarium (lightweight, cheap and playable on Windows), is wonderful--one of my all-time favorite games. It's adorable, has great music and puzzles, and has a quirky sense of humor.
posted by iamfantastikate at 3:37 PM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Play some room escape games simultaneously. Neutral's are great. You can get competitive (HA! I FOUND IT FIRST!) or be cooperative (where's the screwdriver? under the couch, have you found the key to the closet yet?).
posted by phunniemee at 3:42 PM on September 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Learn a language together!

My girlfriend and I have been in separate countries for about half of the past year. (Maybe more? Lost track ...)

We learned Japanese using the Michel Thomas method audiobooks. Not only am I now able to surprise people with my Japanese, it was also a lot of fun, very romantic, engaging, and involving. Best thing I ever did.

The way the Michel Thomas method works is that there's a teacher and student on tape. You play the tape, the teacher teaches a new word, and the students learn it. (You do too.) Then the teacher says "How do you say X?" – and you pause iTunes and try saying X.

To do this long-distance, you just fire up Skype and iTunes. You alternate being Skype Master who does the pausing. Skype picks up the iTunes audio just fine!
posted by krilli at 3:50 PM on September 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also do something creative.

For instance, me and her started translating an English-language children's book that we liked into our native language. Didn't really go anywhere but it was a lot of fun. We used a shared Google Docs text-editing document to work on it.
posted by krilli at 3:52 PM on September 11, 2011


I have watched movies with my sister in the US. The pain in the arse factor makes it An Event. You have to both get the same film, cue them to the same point (pro tip: pick a name on the titles), pop popcorn or whatever, set aside 2 hours, etc. It actually is a shared experience. It's nice.

I do this with my brother all the time. It is really fun, but make sure that you have some way of talking while the movie is on that makes sense - we both wear bluetooth headsets and have the video routed through the television so you're not really hearing the sound through their channel, if that makes sense.
posted by winna at 4:02 PM on September 11, 2011


Have iPads? Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride are both board games with good iPad adaptations, and are playable across the internet. I wish there were more, but those are the two best I've found.
posted by kiltedtaco at 4:13 PM on September 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


What about Minecraft? You could have a private Creative server and build stuff together. I have a few friends who aren't gamers but play this with their BFs.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:19 PM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dominion! It's incredibly fun and addictive and has a chat bar so you can talk while you play.
posted by Eshkol at 5:21 PM on September 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Play Yahoo! Graffiti! It's fun.
posted by limeonaire at 5:26 PM on September 11, 2011


Super Bomberman on the SNES was lots of fun for me in a similar situation. And by "on the SNES," I mean using an emulator like ZSNES to play it (a co-op game) over the internet.

Because it was originally a console game, both players share one screen. You are always right there with the other player, which I think really helps in your sort of situation. Many of the old SNES, etc. games should work well for that reason.
posted by whatnotever at 6:30 AM on September 12, 2011


Thanks friends!
posted by Buckt at 4:38 PM on September 12, 2011


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