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Social Distancing. Ways to fill the void.

The world we're living in is a crazy place right now. If you're like me your county or even state has been put into quarantine for 14 days or longer. We are under a 30-day Statewide quarantine. Kids are homeschooling now. The roads are empty. Restaurants are reduced to take out only or closed. And worst of all hobby and game stores are closed! There's no escape.

So, what's a nerd to do? Where are we supposed to find Magic, Pokemon, Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer games? Well, it just so happens in this crazy world that we have the beauty of social media and the internet. In this three-part series, we are going to give you a few ideas on how you can spend this time filling that void. Who knows how long social distancing or quarantine is going to last considering everything that's going on.

A quick Google search and you find enough video games to last a lifetime. Granted you won't be getting the same play experience but there are options out there for online gaming so you can keep up with your friends. You can find loads of multiplayer games on computer, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo or even mobile. Some are free while others have a hefty price tag.

Many games have voice chat built into them because it's a pain to have to sit and carry on a conversation through text. If you're on console audio is built right into the party chat and some games still use their own clients. There are still other options as well. Once popular with computer gamers is Discord. It is free to download and use. If you prefer video chat, you can use Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts. Both let you have more than two people in the call.

One of my favorites to play on computer with friends is World of Warcraft. It makes for a wonderful experience with friends or you can even play solo if that's your thing. If you're missing the role-playing action from Dungeons & Dragons you can always role play in World of Warcraft. There are so many fun role-playing guilds. Be sure to choose an RP server when you're searching. The best ones have websites and you can find information about them with a Google search or a browse through the World of Warcraft forums. World of Warcraft, however, is not free. You need to buy the game and it has a monthly fee of about $15.

Here are my two current favs. Elynesa is my Demon Hunter, I have been a huge Illidan Stormrage fan since I first learned about him back in 2006 when the beans were spilled about the Burning Crusade expansion. Viviayna, my warlock, was made back in 2007. She is the first character I leveled all the way up by myself. She started as a different race with a different name. I love to create background stories for my characters. I also like to RP, which I have not done in forever and miss.

On console, I really love Monster Hunter World and Minecraft. Both of which you can experience Solo or with friends. You could always make it fun and add role-playing into the mix if you want! If you want to learn more about role-playing I plan to put a few blogs up about that. Minecraft also has a ton of addons or what they call texture packs. There is even a NIghtmare Before Christmas one. One thing my kids and I do with Minecraft is make silly challenges. It does get repetitive after a bit so the challenges liven things up. One example of a challenge is that you have to build your house wherever your chest spawns! We have had then spawn halfway up a mountain. A quick Google search will find you loads of challenges or come up with your own!  Here is a sneak peek of the village in the Nightmare Before Christmas texture pack.

If you're looking for something that more closely resembles a trading card game Hearthstone is a great option. Pokémon also has an online trading card game. Both games are free to download but of course, have in-app purchases. Both come with a basic starter deck and ways to earn in-game currency. With the Pokémon game, another way to get cards is through purchasing physical booster packs and other decks and products. Every time you buy a booster pack or one of these other products it comes with a card to redeem online cards through the app. So if you already play Pokemon, you have tons of in-game cards to redeem! I hope you kept them! 

If you're looking for something resembling tabletop wargaming, unfortunately, I have not found a game to fill that void. But Warhammer has quite a few games online. I am currently playing Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor Martyr on PS4. It's not the same as the tabletop games but the lore is there if that's what you like. Physically I play Drukhari on tabletop but with this game I am learning more about the Inquisition and Chaos. Let’s be honest, that’s the best part right?

Here is a pic of my small Druhkari battalion ready for war with my hubbies Tau Empire army. We are still painting, of course, that's never done when you keep adding to your arsenal 😁 

One last game that I think is worth mentioning even though it is only single-player, is Fallout 4. Note there is a multiplayer Fallout, Fallout 76, personally I started playing when it first came out and there were still plenty of bugs. I personally did not like it but don't let that keep you from trying it. It is definitely worth a try if you can nab it.  But you can get the Fallout 4 Game of the Year version, which has all of the addons, for about $20 at GameStop. Playstation and Steam puts it on sale every once in a while. It is a survival game with a great story, a great questline and you get to build your towns/bases. I like it because it has a plethora of ways to play. If you prefer the storyline, you can do the bare minimum with your towns and still finish the game. If you prefer the building then only do the main quests to continue to unlock more towns to build. You can do as little or as much as you want. It is a first-person shooter, which I am not the best at, but you can zoom out to make it a bit easier if that is more your play style. 

Whew that was long BUT I wanted to give you plenty of option and I hope this has your wheels turning so you can come up with your own ideas. 

Ready for some other ideas to fill this time? Stay tuned for part 2!

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