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Ditch the Cords on National Day of Unplugging

People are spending more and more time plugged into electronic devices. Some studies have indicated that the average amount of time people spend looking at screens has risen to 11 hours per day. National Day of Unplugging (beginning on the evening of March 6 of this year) is a time for people to step away from those screens and experience a slice of life without the aid of social media, video games, or the internet.

While that might seem to be a daunting or inconvenient thing to do in an increasingly connected age, it opens up so many fun possibilities. Extra Lifers in particular could take this time to play games outside of their wheelhouse, try their hand at a new hobby, or even throw a fundraising party. Here are just a handful of examples that might spice up a day spent with the screens off.

Murder Mystery Night

Everyone loves a good mystery. In fact, people love them so much that decades of television have been able to run on the spectacle of unraveling complicated crimes, mysteries, or puzzles. There are even highly successful and innovative games like Hunt a Killer that put players in charge of solving mysteries on their own or with friends. In fact, there’s a whole community of people who host murder mystery parties and a slew of resources available online on sites like Night of Mystery that explain how to run and play themed mysteries. These are great excuses to dress up, improvise, and attempt to get to the bottom of a murder over the course of a night.

Social Tabletop Games

In a similar vein to a good murder mystery, there’s a whole subgenre of tabletop gaming that thrives on social interaction. Games like Secret Hitler, Apples to Apples, Settlers of Catan, or Spaceteam all center their mechanics on how players are able to negotiate, improvise, lie, or otherwise socialize with others at the table. These are a great way to engage in a light and fun way. These games typically don’t take terribly long to complete, ranging from Spaceteam (about 5 minutes) to Settlers of Catan (about an hour). If you are looking to grab a group of friends or family, a few of these games will pass the time with laughter and bonding.

Pen & Paper RPGs

If you have never tried Dungeons and Dragons before or want to try a different kind of tabletop RPG, an unplugged night can be a great opportunity to give classic tabletop gaming a whirl. All that’s need is the basic rule book, a short adventure to run through with the players or DM, and a good group willing to give something new a shot. Kids on Bikes, in particular, can be a fun time for newcomers, combining elements of social tabletop with pen and paper RPGs. These can be particularly easy to set up, especially if someone knows the rules well enough to run the game. All you need are character sheets, dice, and some creativity.

All of these ideas can be incorporated into fundraising for Extra Life! Have players buy into the evening or offer certain in-game bonuses or hints for donations. Adjust to an evening without screens, set up some creative ways to interact with your loved ones, and have a blast!

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!