Does this game work over Zoom? Could I play this game in person without people having to interact? How do I play a game in this current setting? If you have been questioning your games lately, let me begin by saying you are not alone. The entire youth ministry world is trying to figure out how to still have games while remaining safe for students.
With in-person gatherings happening more and more, we want to take a quick moment to solve your games problem for you. Here are three games that stand the test of time as well as give your students an incredible experience for your next gathering. These games work over Zoom, in-person, or even via smoke-signal. Well maybe not the last one, but you get the picture. Let’s play some games!
Gorilla, Man, Gun
Sing it if you know it, “Back to Back, Back to Back, Back to Back. Man beats the Gun, Gun beats the Gorilla, Gorilla beats the Man, if you tie you die. 3…2…1…JUMP!” We all know this classic rendition of Rock, Paper, Scissors which allows us to fully embody the strategic wonder of a childhood joy. This is a fantastic crowd game that includes everyone while allowing people to go and meet others within the youth group.
You can have people introduce themselves or share what school they go to before they dive into the intense competition of selecting either Gorilla, Man, or Gun. This also allows you to get students moving throughout the room or parking lot in a quick and simple manner. Your students want to see each other, and the ones who win will go on to meet lots of other people. Your losers also get the chance to laugh and chat with those who are sitting near them as they laugh about how they both chose Gun.
Another pro of this game is its variations. You can play Giants, Wizards, and Gnomes. You can play Elephant, Moose, Mouse. You can play Beard, Goatee, Mustache. You could also be culturally relevant and play Covid-19, Zoom, Social-Distancing. The possibilities are almost as endless as songs available on the internet. Which brings us to our next game.
Name that Tune
We all listen to music in some form or fashion. Some people live with headphones in, others hear it in the car, and some just listen while they are in restaurants. Trivia has always been a timeless classic because people love the feeling of recalling information they thought was unavailable. Name that tune presents a fun atmosphere that gets the crowd involved because catchy music gets us moving.
Think of the moment you play some Taylor Swift as two high school juniors fail to identify the song, the whole youth group facepalms in embarrassment, and laughter fills the room. You look like the hero who engaged with students while creating a memory to talk about for years to come.
One huge pro to this game is the availability of music. There are countless Name That Tune playlists available out there, and if you don’t like those you can build your own! You can do a worship version, a Disney version, or even a top twenty tracks. The two pieces of advice we would offer here involve work ahead of time.
If you choose to use Spotify or another streaming service, ensure you are using the paid version. You may ask, “Why would I pay for it when it’s free and the only issue is just some ads?” You have no control over the ads, and unless you have an experienced technician you could have an inappropriate ad get paired with your appropriate playlist over the speakers. The second tip we have is that you ensure you not only check lyrics, but listen through your songs you choose. There are songs that we feel are clean, but sometimes streaming services have the original versions rather than radio edits which could drastically change the song. Looking at you Cee-Lo Green. It’s also important to remember a song can still be bad without having curse words. You know this, but we just have to be sure to say it.
Games for Youth Ministry by YM360.
Why do screen games bomb? Because they are often one time uses that are too complicated. Games for Youth Ministry by YM360 is an interactive platform that holds a multitude of games which can be replayed countless times. The controls for each game are simple to use, and you can influence the results while running the game live. Doing a three-card shuffle and your student seems to be down on himself? Our platform allows you to force his selection to be correct. On the opposite end, do you have the overconfident student who is beyond sure they are correct? Our platform allows you to also force their choice to be wrong.
The Games for Youth Ministry platform was built with youth leaders in mind. We know that coming up with a game for each service can be a daunting task, especially when you are not gifted in that department. We use our games at each of our camp locations for rooms full of hundreds of people. The simplicity of them allows the person running the game to walk up with complete confidence in how to play the game, but it also allows them to ham things up while playing.
We’ve all seen a game be too complicated or too difficult to explain, and the individual running the game seems to flounder. These games are designed to be quick to play while also allowing your students to want to come back and play more.
There are tons of other options available for you to play during this return to in-person meetings, and we’ve only scratched the surface. If you’re struggling to come up with games ideas, we’d love to chat with you here at YM360. The reason we selected these is because not only do they work for in-person gatherings, but they could add some excellent flavor to your next zoom meeting as well! We know youth leaders wear many hats, and games leader is certainly one of them. We are here to crush hassles for you, and if there is anything we can do to help please let us know! Thank you for reading, and thank you for leading!