Arts & Culture

The New Age of Party Games

By Patrick R. ’23

Charades. Pictionary. Everybody has heard of these common party games, and almost everybody has played them at some point in their lives. They are easy to learn and fun to play. They’re games for everybody, which is part of the appeal, and you don’t need anything to play them, just some creativity (and maybe a little paper). However, classic games such as these are becoming less and less popular as newer, more advanced versions of party games are coming into the public eye. Namely, Jackbox. 

Jackbox Party Games is a large set of party games that can be played in groups of up to 8 people. The catch is that it is all run online. One person who owns the game sets it up on a computer or television, and everybody else logs into the website on their phone, and the game essentially runs itself. Nobody has to worry about keeping score, or timing, or keeping everything organized, since the game does it itself. The options are limitless, and the computer running the game allows for much simpler in-depth scoring systems, as well as making timing and head to head competitions far easier. 

The games themselves come in what are called “Party Packs”, sets of five games that cover all areas, with most sets having at least one game that specializes in drawing(using the interface on the website), funny fill-in-the-blanks, and some form of improv. A personal favorite of mine is Quiplash, where all players are given prompts, and then have their answers go head to head to determine which is the best, with voting run through the software. Another fun one is called Faking It, an undercover spy game where each round, one person is secretly proclaimed the Faker. Everyone else is given some sort of prompt to complete, but the Faker does not, and so must try to lie and deceive in order to survive when one person is voted off each round. The prompts can range from something as simple as “Raise your hand if you have ever seen the movie ‘Avengers’”, to something more in depth such as “Point at the person in the room whose mind you would most like to be able to read”. It is a great test of the Faker’s ability to adapt as well as a fun gauge on how well everyone else knows each other. These are only a few of the dozens of games available to be played, with each one crazier and more fun than the last. 

However, no matter how ingenuitive and creative these new games are, it is unlikely that they will ever be able to fully take over the “party game” category. Whether people find them too complicated, don’t like the electronic aspect, or simply prefer to stick with what they know, it is extremely difficult to override years of experience and fun with the classic games, and to be honest, they shouldn’t be fully overridden. They became as popular and well-known as they are for a reason, and deserve to stay as household favorites. In the end, the best result would be a healthy blend of the originals and the new age of online games that has already arrived, leaving everybody happy and having fun, fulfilling the true purpose of every game, to bring people together and have a great time while doing so.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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