Gaming from a Safe Distance
It have been about a week and a half since I have been out of the class and practicing social isolation. It has been a roller coaster of feelings, activities and new learning. I miss my family, friends and students.
However during this time I have been able to connect with people through various tech means. For example; I attend church through ZOOM, I see friends in Facetime, and text through various platforms (WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter). And while I do often prefer to solo game when I am at home, I have been managing to game with friends and family too.
I have an Xbox one, and through the use of my recent Amazon Prime purchase I have been able to guide my 6 year old nephew through Minecraft. I had thought I was done with this game, but he recently ‘discovered’ it, and now I am back in.
We have been able to talk and play together every morning this week and it has been great. My brother has also been playing with us and friends from Kitchener have an open invitation to drop in to out Minecraft realm.
The downside to this is that Minecraft realms cost money, and in order to connect to the realm players need to have an Xbox Gold membership. So while this is a fun option, it is not free
Steam and Discord
With my adult friends and family we have been using a discord server, set up by my brother, to play various games through our Steam accounts. Games we have played together include: Raft (survival game), and Talisman (boardgame). We have also been talking about playing Lords of Waterdeep (boardgame) as well.
Steam has a HUGE catalog of games, ranging from mainstream releases, indie games, and free to play.
The costs here depends on the games you choose to play as purchasing prices vary, and the cost of a discord server. A discord server is about $5.00 a month. In my case, my brother maintains the server and we (friends and family) join the server for free.
Nintendo Switch Games
I have connected with friends through the Switch. at this point it is only to compare how we are progressing in games like Ring Fit Adventure. However we are planning to play Mario Cart this Friday using the discord server to chat as we play. I’ll update this to let you know how it went.
Jackbox is a great collection of party games, that is available across platforms (Steam, switch, Xbox…). I have only played this remotely once, and know that next time it would be more fun to have discord running at the same time.
As I have already said, I have been using Discord while gaming, but there are other options like: Zoom, Google Meet/Hangouts, Skype… The main thing being: use whatever works best for you!
However, for best results, you may need to buy a headset with a microphone.
My next step is to learn how to use platforms like Roll20 and/or Fantasy Grounds so that I can restart my DnD campaign. We had just started Dungeon of the Mad Mage, and I would like to go back to it. I will be playing in an RPG using Google Duo next Friday and am interested to see how my GM (Game Master) uses it.
But what about you? Are you gaming at home? How have you been extending that beyond your house? Add your thoughts to the comments below.