Around the world, most of us are experiencing major disruptions to our daily lives in the form of stay-at-home orders, voluntary self-isolation, business closures, social distancing regulations, and/or nationwide lockdowns. How much this disruption affects us varies from person to person. For some of us, work can continue pretty much as usual, while others have a lot of unexpected free time on our hands. Some of us are quarantined alone, while others are with families or roommates we sometimes wish would leave them alone. Whatever your situation, what we all need are ways to keep in contact with our friends and loved ones outside of our homes, ways to relieve stress or anxiety, and ways to remain healthy—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
To assist with that, we’ve started the following list of nerdy resources to help you. This is a living document we’ll continue adding to over time, so bookmark it and check back periodically to see what’s new! And if you have any suggestions, you can email them to email@example.com; we’ll add our favorite submissions to the list as we update it.
And remember cadets, keep things clean. Make Levi Heichou proud!
(Last updated Friday, October 16, 2020)
Newest additions: updated conventions list, added LTN Radio to Podcasts & Radio, updated Streams & Video, updated Ways to Play Tabletop Games Online, updated Watch Parties, added a few video game suggestions
Table of Contents
- General Quarantine Info for Nerds
- Podcasts & Radio
- Streams & Video
- Groups to Play Games and Be Nerdy With
- Nerd Exercise
- Ways to Play Tabletop Games Online
- Communication Tools
- Coloring Pages
- Watch Parties
- Educational Resources
- Video Games to Play
General Quarantine Info and Reading for Nerds
- A Nerd’s Quick and Clean Guide to COVID-19 – some tips on keeping yourself healthy from our resident nurse Madeline Turnipseed
- How to Run Your Very Own Online Trivia Night – suggestions from one of our community members
- Social Distancing and Death Stranding – reflections on quarantine life amid the pandemic as an introvert gamer
- A Nerd’s Guide to Prepping – social isolation and self-quarantining has gone on much longer than expected for many of us. Here are some practical and not-so-practical tips for how to weather the isolation like a true nerd.
- US/Canada Convention Status Sheet – a running list of nerd convention status updates
A number of conventions are making plans to take to the internet while we are unable to gather in person. Here are some of them! If you know of any I missed, let me know!
- International Mars Society Virtual Convention – brings together key scientists, commercial space executives, government policymakers and space advocates to discuss the latest scientific developments and challenges related to the exploration of Mars and the eventual human settlement of the Red Planet. – October 15–18, 2020
- AwSHUX – online version of the annual Shut Up and Sit Down convention – October 16–18, 2020
- SPIEL.digital – online tabletop industry trade fair – October 22–25, 2020
- AfroComicCon – a day full of exciting panels, screenings of the AFCC International Film Festival winners, entertainment, gaming, cosplay and special guests, as well as a virtual marketplace! – October 24, 2020
- SFFCon – Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention – November 7–8, 2020
Podcasts & Radio
- Love Thy Nerd Podcast Network – catch up on the latest episodes from Humans of Gaming, the Free Play Podcast, the Pull List Podcast, and Church Nerds
- All Alone – a podcast with stories from everyday life in quarantine
- LTN Radio – formerly Back Row Radio and the newest addition to the LTN family! LTN Radio is the soundtrack for your life—whether blasting in the background as you conquer the latest sandbox RPG, driving cross-country to the next convention, or simply getting through your 9-to-5 in the best way possible! LTN Radio plays mostly Christian music, but this is not the “Christian Radio” you’ll find on your car radio dial. LTN Radio plays only the BEST Christian rock, rap, pop & indie from the 90s to now.
- Church Nerds – hosted by Love Thy Nerd’s own Bubba & Anna Stallcup on Friday mornings
- InnRoads Ministries Podcasts – here’s where you’ll find Game Store Prophets, the Bard & Bible conversational devotional, Saving the Game, and the InnRoads Plays Podcast
Streams & Video
- Making Pokémon out of Air-drying Clay (YouTube)
- 12 Family-Friendly Films to Broaden Your Horizons – if you’re tired of watching Frozen for the millionth time, here are some great films to stream that your family may have never heard of.
- 20 Animated Films Worth Your Time Available on Netflix Right Now
- 12 Documentaries that Explore Fandoms and Nerd Culture
- Love Thy Nerd on YouTube
- Love Thy Nerd on Twitch
- SGN (Some Good News) – John Krasinski (The Office) highlights some good news from around the world (no longer making new episodes but still worth watching!)
- Nightly Met Opera Streams – each day, a different encore presentation from the Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Metropolitan Opera website
Groups to Play Games and Be Nerdy With
- Love Thy Nerd Community – our home on Facebook. Come be nerdy with us!
- LTN Arcade – bi-monthly online game night on Discord. Tabletop games, video games, movie screenings, and more
- Board Game Spotlight – highlighting new Kickstarter projects and discussing all things tabletop gaming. Also hosts online Jackbox game nights
- Dice Throne Community – if you love Dice Throne, here’s the place to obsess about it with other fans, as well as find opponents for online matches
- Geeks Under Grace Community – online home for the Geeks Under Grace ministry community
- InnRoads Tavern – a group is for everybody who loves talking about board games, card games, tabletop RPGs, war games, sci fi, fantasy, comic books, and more
- The Prefecture by Jesus Otaku – a place to discuss all things anime, manga, cosplay, and more!
- Student Pastor Game Night – are you a student pastor or student ministry leader at your church? There is a game night just for you to build community, network, and just enjoy playing games with other student ministry leaders.
- Love Thy Nerd – all kinds of nerdy voice and text chat channels for your perusal!
- Love Clan – “Love God, Love People.” Nerd culture-based community centered around love in an age of toxicity. Active chat, Game nights and events, and small groups
Game Groups for Intellectuals
- Reading Gamebow – a video game community functioning like a reading club
- Game Chat – “The video game ‘book club’ on the Internets”
- James Hudson (Skybound Tabletop, Druid City Games) is streaming a quarantine workout challenge on his Facebook page (search #workoutwithjameshudson to find all his past workout streams and follow a long with your favorite!)
- Darebee – workout routines themed after characters from TV shows, video games, and more. There are also RPG-inspired exercise programs that can last for weeks
Ways to Play Tabletop Games Online
- No Local Board Game Group? Play Over Video Chat! – at LTN, we’ve been playing board games together online since way before it was cool
- 9 Beginner-Friendly Tabletop Games You Can Play Online for Free
- Tabletopia – free board games online in your web browser. No download needed, but you can access more content and goodies with a premium account
- Board Game Arena — similar to Tabletopia but even easier because the web app handles all the moving pieces and a lot of the rules for you
- Happy Meeple – limited options but worth checking out
- Yucata – not as user friendly as some of other options, but a good source for games you can’t find anywhere else
- Tabletop Simulator – if you’re looking for even more options of tabletop games to play online, this is your gateway
- Roll20 – online virtual tabletop for pen-and-paper RPGs
- Boiteajeux.net – another option for free online tabletop games
- D&D Beyond –official digital toolset for D&D.
- Big List of Options for Online Board Games – this list is super comprehensive and organized and is available as a pdf or as a png. Happy hunting!
Tabletop Games to Play Over Video Chat
Here are some suggestions of tabletop games that can be adapted to play over video chat if one person has a physical copy. Many of these can also be played using an online tabletop game platform of your choice or dedicated app. We’ve provided links to official apps where available.
- Just One
- Blank Slate
- Game of Things
- Five Second Rule
- News @ 11
- Wits and Wagers
- Hive Mind
Roll & Writes
(each player will need to print their own copy of a player sheet or mat)
- Rolling Realms – as of v10 there is a digital player sheet
- Welcome to – app scoresheet available for Android and iOS
- Cartographers – Update: there is a digital player sheet available!
- Railroad Ink – player sheets can be printed out here
- Fleet: the Dice Game
- Second Chance – printable player sheets available here
- Forbidden Island
- Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger
- Choose Your Own Adventure: War with the Evil Power Master
- Discord – voice, video, and text chat for gamers and everyone else
- Google Hangouts – messaging, voice, and video calls
- Skype – free video calls and chat
- Zoom – video conferencing
- Marco Polo – video voicemail app
- Slack – communication tool for teams
- Chart Comparing Common Video Chat Services – another helpful compilation
- Gen Con 2020
- Sailor Moon
- Skybound Tabletop: Wonderland’s War, Grimm Forest, and Grimm Masquerade
- Assorted meeple/tabletop gaming pages
- More assorted nerdy coloring pages (many are duplicates from the Pokémon link above)
- Teleparty Party (formerly Netflix Party) – Chrome extension that lets you watch Netflix online with your friends (everyone needs their own Netflix account)
- How to start a Facebook watch party
- Watch Bob Ross on Twitch
- Scener – free Chrome extension for hosting virtual movie nights, works with a variety of streaming services and has integrated voice/video chat
- Roll Together – free Chrome extension to sync Crunchyroll streams and watch together with your friends
- Museum of Mechanics: Lockpicking – a browsable, playable collection of lockpicking mechanics from various games. Originally intended for game developers but would be an interesting virtual museum trip for a gamer!
- Udemy – high quality online learning on tons of subjects. There are regular sales that drop courses to around $11-15 each
- Khan Academy – free learning for anyone in math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more
- Imagineering in a Box – designed to pull back the curtain to show you how artists, designers, and engineers work together to create theme parks. Go behind the scenes with Disney Imagineers and complete project-based exercises to design a theme park of your very own
- Smithsonian Exhibits Online – digital exhibits of Smithsonian museum collections. Here are a few that may be of interest:
- Public Wright Sites Virtual Visits –The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is providing virtual tours of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.
- Flex Class: Zelda and World Mythology – Flexible class for kids aged 8-12 years old comparing Hyrule’s creatures to real-world mythology
- Experience Beauty through Virtual Travel (via Verily)
Video Games to Play (a sampling of our favorites)
Advice for Parents
- Family Video Game Database – Curated database of video games for parents to discover new things to play and exciting worlds to visit. Geared toward providing information for parents.
- Commonsense Media – reviews and ratings of books, movies, games, and more for educators and parents
- 4 Keys to Winning the Video Game Battle with Your Kids – Family gaming expert Andy Robertson offers advice for turning turn gaming from a stress and a worry into something healthy, engaging and enjoyable.
- 8 Better Games for Kids than Fortnite – LTN editors and writers highlight some games to play with your kids that can help them build healthier relationships—both with technology and with you.
To Play with Others
- Among Us – Join your crewmates in a multiplayer game of teamwork and betrayal!
- Genshin Impact – immersive single-player, open-world game with cross-play team combat for up to four players
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons – a cozy social sim game where players live on an island with a community of cute animals
- The Getty has its own official Animal Crossing Art Generator tool for players to create in-game canvases, clothing, and designs out of its collection or any other museum’s collection in IIIF file format
- Animal Crossing pattern editor tool for creating your own patterns from scratch or from images and generating scanable QR codes for them
- Choose Your Own Dice Throne Adventure – ongoing in the Dice Throne Community
- Jackbox Games – a host of party-themed games. The developers even have their own advice for how to play their couch co-op games remotely or use their games for home-schooling
- Overcooked/Overcooked 2 – couch co-op for console or PC (online multiplayer available on PC)
- Gang Beasts – couch co-op or online multi-player for console or PC
- Stardew Valley – solo or co-op for console and PC
- Dr. Mario World – I taught my mom to play this at Christmas. It was nostalgic.
For players who prefer to play solo
- Genshin Impact – immersive single-player, open-world game with cross-play team combat for up to four players
- Games that Brought Us Peace – a list from our writers
- Games that encourage us to “Be a Good Neighbor” – A list created by LTN in conjunction with Andy Robertson and Taming Gaming.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME
- The Witcher 3
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
- God of War
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- The Oregon Trail – if you’re feeling nostalgic
- Untitled Goose Game