As the novel coronavirus continues to spread in China, I will be posting updates about my time in Shanghai during this period. Feel free to message me if you want to hear more about things I haven’t included!
With most of Shanghai staying inside, there hasn’t been much in the way of parties or going out (and with good reason, given that cramming into confined spaces and getting stupid aren’t exactly known strategies for keeping viruses at bay). Most of my friends have taken it well, and we’ve instead stayed in touch through messaging app WeChat, video calls, and even the occasional in-person meetup (gasp!)
But Shanghai’s just not the same without a little cavorting. Such was the sentiment when a friend of mine mentioned wanting to go out for some drinking without anyone leaving the safety of their homes. He wasn’t sure how it would work out, or if it could be possible to do a drinking game remotely.
Then again, what is an epidemic for, if not taking risks? (Kidding, family!)
We gathered some people we knew of who both wanted to drink and would be game to try a virtual drinking game. Then we settled on a time (we tried to simulate actual “going out” time at night) and found the best technology for a group video chat.
How to Play the Game:
Before you do anything, procure dice. This can either be accomplished via actual dice and camerawork, or with websites/GIFs as needed. We tried with a website, then gave up and used actual dice in a bowl and some creative camerawork.
Set up a stable internet connection and make sure you can see/hear everyone. Took us about half an hour, but since we played for three hours, it was well worth the wait.
Establish an order (either by order of window screens or alphabetically).
Take turns rolling the dice and do as follows with the corresponding number:
- Make up a song or dance about being quarantined for 1 minute. If you refuse or fail to reach the full minute, drink.
- Start off a story that the group will tell communally. Adjust the rules as needed. (Initially the penalty was that if you hesitated for more than 15 seconds to tell say something, drink. But we were a group of writers, so it became “if you don’t shut up within 15 seconds, drink”).
- Pick a category and go around the group listing things in that category until someone blanks, or repeats something that has been said. They drink.
- Never Have I Ever. (It’s confusing to write out the explanation for this one, so if you haven’t played this before, I recommend just looking up a video of people playing it, this one of the cast of “Brooklyn 99” — but instead of fancy signs, just have everyone hold up 3 fingers and lower them as the truth comes out).
- Just… drink.
- Choose someone to drink.
The game really zipped by, and things I thought people would be too horrified to do (like the song/dance) ended up being the best parts (I even used Xiao Hong as a backup dancer at one point). The storytelling went from random to outlandish and downright silly, and by the end, we all agreed that we needed to play again.
If you ever find yourself in quarantine, (a sensible amount of) alcohol helps to have on-hand! That being said, we decided it would be fine to do this partially sober or with those who don’t drink — so long as they’re willing to play!
Stay classy, and raise your glass to the webcam in a toast.