028ED: Late Night Online Hangouts

Bonifacio High Street Park Table

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 225

We still managed to push through with yesterday's Pendragon RPG session, which was great since these games go a long way towards helping me and Tobie feel better and more in touch with friends and our "old life" pre-COVID-19. But we were still feeling like we want to do something for the night - we just had no specific idea of what.

So the rough plan became to still stream a "quick" Baduy Pride episode without a specific topic as a sort of random episode and then we'd invite friends to join us for a private video call after so we could continue to hang out while playing board games or something. And to be clear, that would involve me and Tobie playing a board game while everyone else would do their own thing and talk at the same time. We've done this a few times over the past year even before quarantine - the lockdown just sort of codified things to be a bit more important since we do miss our friends. 

So the random episode did happen, and it became a freewheeling discussion about things we were excited about like the upcoming Kylie Minoque Infinitie Disco live stream event along with a lot of Halloween-related stuff like favorite horror movies and such. It was a pretty fun conversation that ended up running for almost two hours since a lot of friends tuned in to have fun with us, I guess.

When it came to hosting a Facebook Messenger Room after the recording, we actually had a decent group of people on the call that made for a decent basis for a conversation. Tobie and I at least got through one round of Point Salad before the idea of playing games with everyone on the call realized itself instead. And that led to us playing several rounds of different games including Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, the ever-classic Spaceteam, and of course the now highly-popular Among Us. We even had a few other friends dial in later to join in the fun and it made for a great night. And we weren't drinking this time!

I know, these late-night video calls may not be all that convenient to all of our friends, and we should probably consider hosting such calls easier in the day to widen the audience. But I guess given how Tobie and I used to fill our weekends with all-night O Bar excursions or different game nights that would last until sunrise, it was nice to find a way to recapture that feeling and touch base with different groups of friends who also clearly miss our late-night activities together. 

I realize that at times, I can sound overly sentimental about these rather casual or mundane online connections through group video calls or online games, but I can't help it. We haven't seen so many of our friends in person for a better part of the year now and finding ways to stay connected and exploring other activities that we can continue to enjoy together despite the distance really goes a long way. Thus, I'm trying to invest more time and effort into these things to make sure that we don't solely rely on random connections or decisions to call and instead make things a bit more systematic. 

The earlier part of quarantine was more about keeping our previous tabletop campaigns and related commitments in place and we went from there. Now comes the recognition that we need to also stay connected with other friends outside those circles and see what we can do to still have fun together. With all the stress and complications of our lockdown lives, we could use more opportunities to be happy and keep a hold of our social connections and support one another through this period.