Online Strangers Find Friendship on Virtual Game Show 'Quarantine Island'

August 3, 2020
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    With everyone staying indoors for the past few months, many had to get crafty when it came time to entertain themselves. As a result, one script coordinator created Quarantine Island, a virtual game complete with physical and intellectual challenges.

    According to the New York Post, Cameron Couch was quarantined with his family in North Carolina when he began taking part in the online game. Strangers would meet online at a fictitious island where they would compete in a variety of challenges.

    The game, which now includes a network of competitors across the US and Canada, takes place in front of a live Zoom audience. The games take place as a series of monthlong "seasons."

    Created by 29-year-old Kelsey Krasnigor, the game is inspired largely by the hit TV show "Survivor" while bringing in aspects of other TV shows like Netflix's "The Circle."

    "The game itself is super intense and anxiety-producing on its own," Couch admits. "[But] instead of being anxious about everything, my anxiety was pinpointed to this one topic."

    16 participants break up into two teams. They compete with each other in daily, virtual challenges like spelling bees, broom-holding contests, and online puzzles.

    The losing team choses a member of their own to vote out over a "Banishment Ceremony" on Slack. The last three players standing plead their case to a jury of players who have been voted off.

    Aside from giving folks something to do with their myriad of downtime, many have found that they've made friendships throughout the playing process as well.

    "We're scattered around and we've all talked about eventually meeting up one day and turning these digital friendships into a real thing," Couch explains.

    Adam Daniels, a 31-year-old resident of Long Island City, has also seen beneficial results from competing in the game's first and second seasons.

    "It's created a camaraderie of weirdos around the country who have had this quarantine experience," he shares.

    In order to take part in the game show, participants must head over to the game's Instagram page where they will find a questionnaire. They must also submit a minute-long video telling the creators a bit about themselves.

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