Online Family Game Night
November 10, 2006 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Online family game night: I would like to start up a "family game night". My extended family is very close, but lots of people have moved to different areas. There is a general want to stay closely connected and I want to do my part to help foster that. Help me out.

When together, we play games. Lots of games. It's fun and may sound corny, but it works.

Based on that, I have a few thoughts, but need assistance on implementation details.

My users:

They vary from web-savvy teens to older folks who, while net-connected, are driving 25mph in the right lane with their turn signal on.

1. A web-based chat community where a standing private room can be established. I don't want to force people to load or agree on IM clients. One without registration would be preferable. I'm envisioning something like

2. Ideas on places to go that have online board, card, puzzle games. Again, useability is more important than the specific game.

Any other advice or experiences with undertaking such a plan would also be greatly appreciated.
posted by buck09 to Human Relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to regularly play Yahoo Literati (a Scrabble clone) with friends from around the world. The advantage is its easy to use and includes an embedded chat.
posted by vacapinta at 11:41 AM on November 10, 2006

Get nintendo DSes for everyone and a copy of Clubhouse Games (42 card, board & puzzle games all playable over WiFi/internet.) You can chat by drawing messages and can create a friends only room. Very user friendly and easy.
posted by neustile at 11:46 AM on November 10, 2006

Yeah, if everyone has wifi, the DS solution, while pricey, is worth it. There are lots of places to play boardgames online -- the online version of Ticket to Ride is quite nice and plays up to five, and it's an ideal game for your demographic, but it's not free.
posted by blueshammer at 11:55 AM on November 10, 2006

There is no chat feature, but WEBoggle might be of interest to you. You could all play separately, or as a single team.
posted by sueinnyc at 12:47 PM on November 10, 2006 is a german board game website. They have games that should be familiar to the modern day "designer" boardgame geek, and there's ways to make the games in English. It's free.

My email is in my profile if you're interested in more details.
posted by adamwolf at 1:17 PM on November 10, 2006

I enjoy the Carcassonne and Catan clones over at AsoBrain. I found it by scrolling through this list at Boardgame Geek, which you might find helpful.

I also enjoy WEBoggle, and the team aspect is fun.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 1:18 PM on November 10, 2006

Clarification: I would like a chat system to be independent of the game site used, that way we have a single place to "get together" while where we "go" can change month to month.

Great comments so far.
posted by buck09 at 1:48 PM on November 10, 2006

I third WEBoggle.
posted by srah at 1:48 PM on November 10, 2006

iSketch is the simplest and one of the most fun games I've ever played online against other people. seriously, try it out!
posted by pinksoftsoap at 2:35 PM on November 10, 2006

It doesn't have private chat, but Babble permits real-time public chat. If you pay a one-time fee of $10 you get some enhanced features but they are not necessary to enjoy the game.

I've also recently started playing Anagrammatic, which has no public or private chat at all, but you can pick nicknames and avatars and challenge each other to games. However, I've found it frustratingly buggy when using Firefox 2.0.

A quick extra: not a multi-player game, but if you want to hip Grandma to something comforting and familiar she can play on her own, try SSCrable.
posted by melissa may at 9:44 PM on November 10, 2006

Tons of games, nice java clients that work everywhere I've tried them (windows, linux, mac) and completely free. My friends and I use it a lot.
posted by Gamecat at 3:39 AM on November 11, 2006

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