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8 Video Conference Games to Liven Up Your Online Group Meeting

Two children celebrating at a computer.
Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/children-win-success-video-game-593313/

As my youth groups at Life Connection Church start meeting again–online, of course–we have to start coming up with games that we can play via video conferencing.* I haven’t found a good list. So, I had to put one together and make some up myself.

It’s a pretty good list of games–if I do say so myself. And I thought I’d share my ideas with others.

Selfie Scavenger Hunt

In a traditional scavenger hunt, participants get a list of items and have to find them somewhere in the real world (e.g., a mall, a neighborhood, museum).  If your group is distributed (or on coronavirus lockdown), Selfie Scavenger Hunt introduces a whole new dimension of fun.  Participants are given a list of words or phrases and they have to find the best photo on their phone to represent each one.   Scoring can be based on popular vote and nobody votes for his own photo.

If you’re using zoom, each participant can share their photo as a “virtual background.”

Of course, you can make up whatever rules you want.  For example, maybe it has to be a selfie or maybe it could be any photo they’ve taken.  Given them all the words up front or one at a time.

Google Taboo

In Google Taboo, each player has to search the internet for an image representing a given word or phrase.  The catch is that they cannot enter as a search term any part of the original word or phrase or any of another set of five popular terms associated with it.  For example, players may need to find an image representing “Last Supper” without entering Last, Supper, Jesus, disciples, da Vinci, communion, or bread.  All players compete against each other and the first person to put their valid search terms into the chat wins.

Charades / Pictionary™

Like regular charades or Pictionary™, players are broken into teams and each player takes a turn trying to get his or her team to guess a word or phrase that he or she is acting out or drawing.

Obviously, both games require that every player has a camera and video capabilities.  Pictionary requires players to be able to show their drawings; this can be done by sharing a virtual whiteboard or simply by pointing the camera at a piece of paper.

Name That Tune

In the classic  Name That Tune television game show, players face off head-to-head declaring how few notes they would need to name the tune:  “I can name that tune in 10 notes”, “I can name that tune in 7 notes”, “I can name that tune in 5 notes”, “[Opponent], name that tune!”

In this version, players are challenged to guess the name of a song after listening to only a few seconds of it.  Scoring can be as teams or as individuals depending on the size of your group.  Game play can be simultaneous with points going to the first player to type the correct song title into the chat or head-to-head elimination rounds where a player competes until losing a round.

Sword (Bible) Drills and Real-World Sword Drills

Since it is my church youth group, we can still do “Sword Drills” in which points go to the first player to find a Bible passage by reference (e.g., Ephesians 2:8) and read it.  For groups with more Bible literacy, points go to the first player to find a Bible passage that addresses a real-world situation (e.g., “natural tragedy” and Luke 13:4).

First to 10

First to 10, as in the in-person version, is not so much a game as it is an ice breaker.  The moderator calls out random traits (e.g., had cereal for breakfast, is wearing socks, is an only child, traveled abroad, kept all 10 commandments) and the “winner” is the first to meet 10 of the criteria.

Two Truths And A Lie

Two Truths and a Lie is always a fun game testing how well you know your group.  Players take turns telling two truths and a lie about themselves.  All the other players have to guess which statement is which.  You can have discussion or have players deliberate in silence.  Answers can be collaborative or independent.  Points can be awarded to players to guess the lies correctly and to players who successfully deceive the rest of the group.

Blow Your Allowance (Working Title)

I’m not sure what to call this game.  The goal is for players to build an online shopping cart within a specific time limit that comes as close to a given dollar amount without passing it.  Note that you should pick a store that does not require a login to shop.  The number can be a randomly generated four-digit number like $15.26.

You can require players to have a minimum or maximum number of items in their cart.  You might break ties by the number or variety of items in the cart—most or fewest.

For an extra challenge, players might have to shop for items in the same theme.  Themes could be product category (e.g., food, clothes) or a teaching focus for the day (e.g., feeding the hungry, Sanctity of Life Sunday).  As a special bonus, if the teaching theme is about support for a ministry, you might consider buying the winning basket and donating it to the ministry.


My groups are willing to play without actual prizes.  However, if you want to give awards, think of items that can be mailed or emailed to the winners.  For example, consider gift cards or gift e-cards for delivery or streaming services, chocolates or candies, fidget toys, or books.  If your group is patient, you can also consider “I Owe You” gifts including lunch with a leader or a $10 shopping spree at your youth’s favorite store.

* A shout out to Kyle of Olney Baptist Church who reminded me that we actually need games.