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    May 12, 2020

    7 Creative Ways To Hang Out Online With Other People That Aren't Just FaceTime

    Two words: Club Penguin. (Yes, it's back.)

    On this nth day of social distancing, I truly feel like eye contact with a random passerby on the street could potentially be a euphoric experience. That is to say, like many people, I miss going out to concerts, bars, and talking to people instead of sending DMs. But not all is lost: there are creative ways to virtually hang out and socialize.

    Marcin Wichary

    FaceTiming friends and fam is great, but hm, not always what the soul needs. Here are a couple fun social things and internet shenanigans to do and keep an eye (and cursor) on.

    1. Check out what the cool birds and penguins are doing in Club Penguin Rewritten. That's right: the popular mid-2000s MMO that closed in 2017 is back.

    Club Penguin

    If you were a kid and online in the mid-2000s, you probably remember Club Penguin. It was a multiplayer game with people in goofy penguin avatars shouting random stuff in plazas, decorating igloos, and playing mini-games. While the game closed down for a few years, it relaunched as Club Penguin Rewritten and is mostly in the same shape. And best of all, the game is still free to play!

    Keep an eye out for events hosted in Club Penguin too. Soccer Mommy recently hosted a listening party in Club Penguin for her latest album, Color Theory. Iconic move by an iconic queen.

    2. Or if you’re missing the feeling of dancing to immaculate playlists, Club Quarantine throws queer online Zoom parties. Every. Single. Night.

    3. The video chat app Houseparty is a multiperson video chat platform that makes video calling less awkward and more spontaneous.

    Houseparty

    How it works: Someone starts a “room” and friends and contacts can join. A group of friends can choose to lock it, or if not, friends and contacts of individuals in the room can join the call at whim too.

    So think Omegle, if it was less chaotic and limited to friends of friends. The app also comes with some games like Heads Up!, Trivia, and Quick Draw! that can add some variety to group hangouts.

    4. Okay...hear me out. Any multiplayer game can be a fun social time, but in Monster Hunter, you get to mingle AND hunt giant monsters.

    Keep constant pressure on monsters and stay out of harm's way with the Bow in #Iceborne. Watch our hunter seamlessly switch to the Clutch Claw by buffering the input while charge dashing. 🏹

    Monster Hunter is a fantasy RPG where the point is to hunt monsters, make gear out of those monsters, and hunt bigger monsters. Repeat ad infinitum. It combines hunting down fantastical variations of huge dragons, T-rexes, and other dinosaur variations with human interaction since you have to take down these monsters with parties of players. Slaying overgrown digital T-rexes together = COMMUNICATION, TALKING, TEAMWORK! 💕 **CHEF'S KISS** Everything I long for in this moment...

    5. If you don’t want to party through webcams and Zoom, then Second Life has in-game clubs your avatars can dance to.

    6. This may be obvious...but see what your local bookstore/museum/institution-that-usually-holds-events is doing on the internet.

    Bluestockings / Via bluestockings.com

    Like I said, a no-brainer, but also strangely easy to not check on. Places that usually hold community events have found some sort of way to continue their program online. For example, Bluestockings, a NYC bookstore, has moved their topical community discussions online. Examples include the Off the Binary group that meets and “provides a safe space for anyone with a non-binary gender identity to discuss one’s experiences as we defy society’s mainstream conception of gender.” They currently link up on Zoom and you need to RSVP to get meeting links.

    7. Follow in the footsteps of 100 Gecs, Charli XCX, and more by throwing your own Minecraft party.

    Minecraft

    The best known recent virtual concert is Travis Scott’s viral Fortnite performance, but that’s just not feasible recreation for the average party thrower. Enter: Minecraft. It's been the choice of quite a few party organizers and artists. Club Matryoshka, a virtual club based in Manila, threw a party called Infinite Summer in the game. 100 Gecs also headlined another Minecraft party called Square Garden, and invited illustrious guests like Charli XCX, Tommy Cash, and more.

    Minecraft allows you to build your virtual set and stage (somewhat) easily, so why not spearhead your own virtual mingling? You can live your best life as a Minecraft DJ, which is something I can't wait for to become an actual thing.

    But if you don’t want to spearhead your own party, Open Pit, Heav3n, and Elsewhere are throwing a Minecraft benefit party called Aeth3r on May 8th, 6PM EST. Artists like Rina Sawayama and Uffie, to name a few performers, are attending. All proceeds will go to the Groundswell Fund, an organization that “provides fast funding to grassroots organizations led by women of color, trans people of color, and low-income women and trans people in critical, but unexpected, fights to protect and advance reproductive and social justice.”

    The event is free but a $5 VIP pass is available for those who want access to special in-game VIP areas and exclusive areas in Discord where you can talk to the organizers and the artists.

    See you online!

    Sesame Street