Social distancing and “Stay home” orders can make one miss their friends, but luckily, there’s an app for that. If you’re looking for fun activities and virtual hangouts with friends, there are various apps and online resources to use.
Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in the world and it is developed by Mojang. It is a Lego-style adventure game that has no specific goals to accomplish, but players are placed in a random world to find resources, get food, and build a safe house to survive from the monsters. Interestingly, there is a special educational version of Minecraft that has been developed to teach students math, history, science, computer science, and many other subjects. In addition, since the COVID-19 outbreak, Minecraft has unlocked more free educational content. The developers of Minecraft have stated, “Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for the half a billion students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Minecraft: Education Edition is free to download for those who own the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, and has lessons on the International Space Station, the Human Eye, Greek History, marine biology, bees, and even fractals. Players can download 12 free lessons during the promotion, which ends June 30th in the Marketplace.
Houseparty is another useful app to connect with friends and family. It is a video calling app that enables one to talk and chat with friends. This app is convenient and fun to use, and I personally prefer Houseparty over Facetime. Instead of making a direct call to your friends, you can just simply open up the app and go into your friends’ “house”, but this function has pros and cons. It is easy to meet friends and make new friends in Houseparty, but sometimes there can be unwanted strangers. In order to prevent strangers, there is a “lock” feature to restrict others from entering the room or seeing who is in the room. The interesting thing about this app is that you can play games on the app while you are making a video call with friends. These games include: Chips and Guac, Heads Up, Quick Draw, Trivia - General Knowledge, etc. Making a video call through Houseparty would be a good idea for people staying home and keep in touch with your friends.
Virtual hang-outs with friends and online educational games are not exactly the same as in-person, but it makes staying home a bit better. These popular apps and online activities will be a fun way to spend a little extra free time.