I just held a virtual scavenger hunt with my friends over Zoom, and it was one of the best remote games I've played so far. Here's how to create your own.

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I just held a virtual scavenger hunt with my friends over Zoom, and it was one of the best remote games I've played so far. Here's how to create your own.
  • Hosting a scavenger hunt over Zoom could be a great way to socialize with friends and family members that you can't see in person.
  • To play the game, each team or player would come up with a list of items to be found by the other players within a given time limit.
  • Once the time limit is up, players must show the items they managed to find, which the judging players must approve before choosing a winner.

Lockdown orders are starting to lift across the United States, but social distancing measures remain in place — meaning it'll still likely be quite some time before you're having friends over for a movie night or impromptu party.

If you're looking for a new way to make Zoom chats feel less mundane — especially now that we've been socializing virtually since March — try holding a virtual scavenger hunt. You don't need to purchase anything you don't already own; the game just requires that you think creatively about regular household items.

The way it works is simple: Each household comes up with a list of items, which is then shared with the rest of the group over Zoom. Then it's up to the players to find the listed items and show them to the group before time runs out.

I held a scavenger hunt with my friends recently, and here's a look at how we put our game together.

Read the original article on Business Insider

First, each team or player should create a list of items that other players will hunt for.

First, each team or player should create a list of items that other players will hunt for.
Maja Hitij/Getty

To start, each player or team should come up with a list of 10 items to submit to the virtual group.

I say player or team because it's probably easiest to create teams according to household. So if you live with a spouse or roommates, you can team up to find items together around the house when it's your turn. You can play the game solo, too.

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But the key is to think creatively about the items you choose.

But the key is to think creatively about the items you choose.
Clinton Nguyen

Of course, you can keep things simple and just list specific items, like "sunscreen" or "a coffee mug."

But the game is most fun when you get more conceptual with your choices. For example, my list included "something that someone else made for you" and "something you've owned since high school."

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Once every player has their list, it's time to start the game.

Once every player has their list, it's time to start the game.
Unsplash / Glenn Carstens-Peters

Each team will take turns assigning their list to the other players and judging the results.

For example, in my game there were four different teams playing from four different households. One team would share their entire written list with the group, while the other three teams would search their respective homes for those items.

You can do this through the text chat feature built into Zoom or other video chat services, or through another text platform of your choice like Google Docs or email. It doesn't really matter how you share it as long as everyone playing the game can see the list.

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As soon as the list is shared, start the timer.

As soon as the list is shared, start the timer.
Shutterstock/Sergio Bertino

Set a time limit for how long it should take each player or team to retrieve the items. For a list of 10 items, we set a time limit of three minutes in my group.

The first team to retrieve all of the items wins.

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But it's not just about grabbing random objects in your home and passing them off as items on the list.

But it's not just about grabbing random objects in your home and passing them off as items on the list.
Amazon

Once the time limit has expired, the creator of the list has to approve each player's choices and make sure they fit the criteria.

For example, one team tried to pass off what was clearly a shoe box as an Amazon shipping box during our game. (That, of course, didn't count.)

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Each team will take turns showing the items they managed to find within the time limit.

Each team will take turns showing the items they managed to find within the time limit.
Seeing your teammates, even over video chat, can make you feel more connected. Girts Ragelis/Shutterstock

The team that finished first is also usually first to show their findings.

The judging player or team chooses a winner by identifying the team that found all of the listed items first within the time limit.

There are some rules that help dictate what counts and doesn't count as winning:

  • If you simply don't own everything on the list and therefore can't complete it, you can't win — even if you finish first.
  • You must have every item next to you and ready to be shown to the group when the timer expires. That means you can't get up and grab an item from across the room when it's your turn to show your findings.
  • If no participants complete the list, the player or team who found most of the items on the list wins.

And that's all there is to it. Happy scavenging!

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