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GIF Wars: The Perfect Virtual Group Game to Play Right Now!

GIF Wars

Updated March 2023

Practice social distancing on the Gif battlefield – Play GIF Wars! Right now is the perfect time to virtually battle your BFFs in a gif war. From what we know so far about the virus, the best thing we can do right now to “slow the curve” of Covid-19 cases is to avoid contact with others as much as possible. This may create boredom and loneliness for many people, but fear not! I will share with you my favorite game to play with friends and relatives that I am missing during this time.

Create a group chat of people you would like to play with.

It may be best to add people who are reliable when it comes to responding quickly to texts. The game works best with a small group, around 3-6 players (though you are welcome to try it with more). If possible, name the group chat “gif wars” or something else that lets the group know what the chat is intended for.

Next, send a group text with the instructions.

A sample text you can send with the instructions is written at the bottom. Here is how the game will work: One person, the judge, decides on a category or caption of some kind. For example, the category may be “me deciding on a midnight snack”. I will list some more ideas near the end of the article. The judge should feel free to be creative! Also let your group know that if anyone would not like to participate they may leave the chat, judgement-free. This is an invitation, not an obligation!

Every member, except for the judge, finds and sends a gif they think best fits the judge’s category.

Once one person has sent a gif, no one else can send the same gif in that round. One resource for finding gifs is the app/website Giphy. Giphy also has a keyboard you can install onto your phone to easily access the gifs in your messages. Be aware, though, that Giphy may contain some potentially offensive material, so be mindful of that before choosing to use this resource. I recommend searching for words or phrases that relate to the given category, or searching the name of a television show or character and scrolling through to find a gif that best fits the category. 

Copy and paste the gif you have chosen into the group chat.

Once everyone has sent their gif, the judge picks whichever one they believe best relates to their category. They can “like” the message with the winning gif or simply announce the winner as a message. The winner becomes the next judge and the game moves on to the next round. The game could potentially go on for many rounds, but if the group wants to limit it, they can decide on a number of rounds to play until the game is over.

Sample text of instructions – excluding the quotation marks:

“Hey, everyone! Welcome to gif wars. Here’s how to play: The judge decides on a category and the rest of the group members must pick a gif that they think best matches the category. Once all gifs are sent, the judge picks the one they think fits best under the category and the winner becomes the judge in the next round. If you don’t want to participate, feel free to leave the chat— we won’t judge you! I will start as the game’s first judge. Here’s my category:”. You will then list your category.

Some category ideas include (but not limited to) the following:

-How [specific book/TV/movie character] felt when [an event in the book/TV/movie occurred.] (ex. Jo March’s reaction to when Amy went to France with Aunt March instead of her.)

-[Me/ how I feel/ my mood] ] when [something surprising/funny/annoying happens/happened]. (ex. My mood when I have to do chores during spring break.)

-How it feels when [a potentially relatable issue occurs]. (ex. How it feels when you accidentally make eye contact with your crush.)

This game is perfect for days when you’re stuck indoors and miss hanging out with the squad. Feel free to comment on your GIF Wars experience, and mention if there is anything you would modify about it next time you play.

May the best gif win!


I love to write, make art, and help others.

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