Trivia night or Jeopardy? Make your family Zoom calls fun with unique, online game

Here’s a selection of digital games and apps that players of all ages can enjoy.

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If your family already has a deep line-up of online games, consider downloading Bunch.
By A.C. Shilton

At their best, good video calls are a mediocre substitute for real interaction. And when they’re bad? They can be really bad. If your Thanksgiving family Zoom devolved into melting-down toddlers and bored teenagers, maybe it’s time to consider adding a little friendly competition to the mix.

Online games allow those near and far to engage over a common goal, which in turn sparks a feeling of togetherness — a feeling that everyone wants to have these days.


Here’s a selection of digital games and apps that players of all ages can enjoy.

Caribu
“A boring video call is even more boring for kids,” said Max Tuchman, chief executive and co-founder of Caribu, a video-call app specifically built for children.

During the call, kids and adults can interact on-screen with games like tic-tac-toe, word searches, memory-matching cards and math challenges.
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Caribu also has a library of books that will open on your screen, and adults and kids can read together. The unlimited offer ($9.99 a month) is a family plan, which means far-flung cousins and grandparents can interact on a single membership.

Bunch
If your family already has a deep lineup of online games, consider downloading Bunch, too. This free app overlays video chat windows onto existing games, so you can talk trash as you play Uno, Minecraft or Scrabble.

Jackbox Party Packs
If some of your crew have gaming consoles and others use computers, consider a Jackbox Party Pack, which allows play among eight players on a range of devices. Only one family member needs to purchase the party pack, which ranges from $13.99 to $23.99. Packs have five games that you can play an unlimited number of times.
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For The Culture and For La Cultura
While playing trivia games with his family, Teddy Phillips realized that most had a severe lack of representation.

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“All the classic BET movies, none of them were ever in those categories,” he said.

So Phillips, 32, who lives in Seattle and works as a cybersecurity engineer, made For The Culture, a game highlighting Black culture and history. It’s built to be played in person but also works well over video chat.

Phillips also recently released For La Cultura, which showcases Hispanic culture and history. Because the culture is so diverse, Phillips brought in help from Puerto Rican, Mexican and Central American friends to ensure the game showcased everyone’s history. Both For The Culture and For La Cultura are free, with in-app purchases.

Hosted Zoom Games
For families that are not particularly computer savvy, a hosted Zoom game, where a game master leads and officiates, can be a good option.

Since March, Michael Wade, a recent MBA graduate based in Richmond. Virginia, has been building and hosting Trivia Throwdown Online, a Zoom-based trivia game that breaks families into teams for a “Family Feud” meets “Jeopardy”-style match.

“It’s built based on the idea of, how do we get people to engage with each other and work together,” he said.

Wade writes questions specific to age ranges, which means Grandma and your tween niece will have an equal chance at getting a pop-culture question right. Rates differ for families, nonprofit and corporate events, but the average event with up to 30 people costs around $300.

Matt Hendricks, a game expert who owns Philadelphia’s Thirsty Dice game store and cafe, has taken his game-hosting business online too, charging around $270 (depending on group size). Recently, an art-based game called Duplik has been especially popular. The game relies on cooperation between small groups, which “makes people feel like they’re together,” he said.

That’s the key to making everyone feel like a winner.

How Satya Nadella's Family Helped Him Become A Successful Leader
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An optimist, a tech wizard, a father, a husband and a son - Satya Nadella has succesfully managed to fulfill these roles in his life. The Microsoft CEO credits his family for helping him become a successful leader.



In 2019, Nadella, with an estimated net worth of $387 million as of March 2020, made it to the top 10 of the Forbes Innovative Leaders list, and was ranked 6th. He also was named as one of the 100 Forbes Powerful People in 2018.



On his 53rd birthday, here's a look at how his personal life has shaped his professional life.

An optimist, a tech wizard, a father, a husband and a son - Satya Nadella has succesfully managed to fulfill these roles in his life. The Microsoft CEO credits his family for helping him become a suc..
Read More

Nadella describes his wife, Anupama, as "an amazing woman, mother and partner". In a 2017 LinkedIn post, he had described that empathy for others runs deep in his wife, who he lovingly calls Anu. He credits her for teaching him infuse empathy into his everyday actions. As a father or a CEO, showing empathy can be powerful. He said that Anu inspires him with her willingness to share more about her journey as a mom in the hope it can help others.



Becoming a father of a son with special needs was a turning point in his life that has shaped who he is today. "It has helped me better understand the journey of people with disabilities. It has shaped my personal passion for and philosophy of connecting new ideas to empathy for others. And it is why I am deeply committed to pushing the bounds on what love and compassion combined with human ingenuity and passion to have impact can accomplish with my colleagues at Microsoft," his note read.

Nadella describes his wife, Anupama, as "an amazing woman, mother and partner". In a 2017 LinkedIn post, he had described that empathy for others runs deep in his wife, who he lovingly calls Anu. He ..
Read More

In 1996, the then 29-year-old Nadella and his 25-year-old wife, Anu, were building their careers as an engineer and architect, respectively, in the Seattle area. The couple were expecting their first child, and were busy decorating the nursery in their rented apartment near the Microsoft campus. But then their plans changed.



During the thirty-sixth week of her pregnancy, Anu noticed that the baby was not moving as much as she was accustomed to. They planned a visit to the emergency room of a local hospital in Bellevue. What the anxious new parents expected to be a routine check-up turned out to be an emergency cesarean section. The alarmed doctors delivered Zain, all of three pounds, who did not cry.



Zain was transported from the hospital in Bellevue across Lake Washington to Seattle Children’s Hospital with its state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Anu began her recovery from the difficult birth. Nadella spent the night with her in the hospital, and immediately went to see Zain the next morning.



Over the course of the next couple of years, they learnt that the utero asphyxiation had caused damage to Zain, and that he would require a wheelchair and be reliant on his parents because of severe cerebral palsy.



'Devastated' Nadella said that calling that time difficult was an understatement.

In 1996, the then 29-year-old Nadella and his 25-year-old wife, Anu, were building their careers as an engineer and architect, respectively, in the Seattle area. The couple were expecting their first..
Read More

In 2015, Nadella decided to turn author and started working on his book 'Hit Refresh'.



With this book, Nadella wanted to inspire people to discover more empathy in their own lives. He said that his wife, Anu, helped him learn this quality when their son was born with severe disabilities 24 years ago.



He said that Anu's reaction to Zain’s birth was different. She never asked 'why us'. It was always about what it meant for Zain and how they could best care for him. "Watching her in those first few days, weeks and beyond taught me a lot," he wrote in this book.



Over time, she helped Nadella understand that nothing had happened to either of them, but it was Zain who was suffering. As his parents, it was up to them to do everything they could to improve his life.



For people wondering where the name came from - When you 'hit refresh' in your web browser by clicking the little arrow, it updates. It doesn’t wipe everything away and start new, as Bill Gates wrote in his Foreword for the book — it actually keeps some things and replaces others.



He believed hit refresh was the perfect metaphor for all three storylines of the book — his personal journey so far, the company’s ongoing transformation, and the coming wave of technological and economic change.

In 2015, Nadella decided to turn author and started working on his book 'Hit Refresh'.With this book, Nadella wanted to inspire people to discover more empathy in their own lives. He said that his wi..
Read More

Nadella's earliest memories of his father, B.N. Yugandhar (Yugi to his friends and grandkids), was seeing him sitting in his bed, reading a thick hardback book. This memory captures his father – his passions, values, and life’s work.



His father’s work was more than just a job for him. To him, it was not a professional career choice, but a calling. What gave him deep satisfaction was not the abstract, but the people he was working for and the impact that his work was having in their lives. The way he combined his work with his life’s passions, the deep meaning he derived from it, has been instrumental in shaping Nadella's views of work and life.



The Microsoft CEO said that the most-enduring life lessons was the need to keep an open mind and to keep curiosity alive throughout one’s life. In his 2020 LinkedIn post, Nadella said that his father would say that if there is one thing history has taught us, it’s that doctrinaire thinking and dogma in general were what got people and societies into trouble.



Nadella's father passed away last year after struggling with an illness in the last few years of his life. Yugi described life as a terminal condition, and that no one makes it out alive. But one’s life can speak to us by passing on what is most important about being human and how to live.



And, Nadella tries to live his life guided by the lessons his father taught him.



In pic (Left to right, clockwise): Nadella's son Zain with father in 1988; Nadella with parents in 1970; and his parents at the National Academy of Administration during his father's tenure as director.

Nadella's earliest memories of his father, B.N. Yugandhar (Yugi to his friends and grandkids), was seeing him sitting in his bed, reading a thick hardback book. This memory captures his father – his ..
Read More

Nadella has been very close to his mother, Prabhavati Yugandhar who was a lecturer in Tirupati's Padmavathi College.



From her college classes to fulfilling civic duties as the wife of an IAS officer, the tech top boss accompanied his mother everywhere when he was 3 in 1970. Decades later, he realised how his mother efficiently balanced work and family, her professional ambitions and her role as wife and mother, and her passions and routine despite barriers and challenges at workplace.



He said that the mother-son duo shared great sense of humour and mindfulness of practising things that nourishes the soul and intellect.



After spending years playing with a wooden train at his mother’s feet as she delivered lectures, Nadella said that his mother's devotion to work and family made him a man who looks up to a woman — his mother, wife, daughters, Microsoft colleagues and so many others — for the lessons in life.






In pic: Nadella with mother, Prabhavati Yugandhar around 1970 in India

Nadella has been very close to his mother, Prabhavati Yugandhar who was a lecturer in Tirupati's Padmavathi College.From her college classes to fulfilling civic duties as the wife of an IAS officer, ..
Read More

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