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5 Free Ways to Socialize during the COVID-19 Lockdown

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
Journalist. Reach me at Luis@ITNewsAfrica.com

We’re living in uncertain times. In the span of a few months, because of the coronavirus huge events have been canceled, businesses have had to re-plan to survive. There are masks in the streets and panic in the shops. Perhaps a reminder on what a fragile precipice society somehow stands.

It is also a reminder to keep your friends and loved ones close. Unfortunately during these uncertain times, with governments and celebrities telling us to practice social distancing and renew our vows to hygiene, and rightly so, going out and hanging with friends isn’t the best idea.

[Tweet “We live in a supremely connected world and there are no laws about large groups of people on the virtual space.”]

Thankfully we live in a supremely connected world, and there are no laws about large groups of people on the virtual space. Here’s a list of 5 ways you can keep in touch with your buds on the online, and have a great time while doing it:

5. Discord

“Free voice and text chat for gamers” is what it says on the box, but this software available on mobile and desktop is for everyone. Discord is a quick and easy way to get in touch with your friends over the Internet. Link videos, set avatars, use custom packs of emojis and have group chats with huge amounts of people for free.

If you have a large group of close friends, consider Discord as the best way to keep in touch instantly online.

Where this app shines, though, is with gaming integration and as more and more people are looking to gaming as a cure for their homestuck malaise, Discord is, without a doubt, the best medium for multiplayer communication ever made.

4. Plug.DJ

Is your extravert soul being trodden upon by the rain hitting the window? Do you just want to dance with your friends at a huge concert? Do you want to be the DJ of said concert?

With Plug.DJ you can do all these and more on the virtual sphere. Invite friends to quickly and easily join this app and take turns as DJ, playing whatever music you want through YouTube integration and create a personalized avatar to dance with. Chat about the music or about whatever you want and immerse yourself for hours with good music and good company.

With Plug.DJ and loud enough speakers you won’t miss that festival you shouldn’t be going to right now.

3. A Plethora of Free MMORPGs

Yes, that is a very large acronym. Like World of Warcraft, MMORPGs are games in which people from all over the world enter an expansive virtual world and melt away the hours going on adventures with friends. They’re fun and they’re designed to be addictive and keep players coming back.

Many of these types of games are also subscription-based, but now with the onset of the Free-to-Play business model, many developers are fashioning massive games for hundreds of thousands of players for free.

There are over 500 free MMOs on Steam of varying genres and qualities. Grab your party of friends and venture forth on Path of Exile, a hack-and-slash similar to Diablo or Warframe, a sci-fi where you and your team play as robot ninjas in space.

2. Free Browser Games

If you’re unable to run any MMOs on your PC or Mac, or you simply don’t feel like the effort, then you can try the many multiplayer browser games up online at present. These games are run instantly on your browser, no fuss required.

Use Discord to laugh at your friends as you swindle them playing the deceit game Town of Salem, or play with people from all over the world in the browser-loaded MMO Wilds.io.

1. Netflix Party

Simulating a watching party, with Netflix Party, you and your friends get together online and watch Netflix programming on this platform. Integrated chat features mean that you can discuss films and TV series as they play in real-time.

“Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favourite Netflix shows.”

You’ll never miss another chance to laugh at a terrible movie together again.

By Luis Monzon

Follow Luis Monzon on Twitter

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