Free GM Resource: Zoom Video Conferencing

Free GM Resource: Zoom Video Conferencing
Unless you're "blessed" with a large family and/or have been deemed an "essential" employee, you've been in some sort of isolation/quarantine. If not, well....take my word it kind of sucks big donkey....anyway...

With this China Virus ruining face-to-face tabletop gaming, you've either got to suck it up and do without, or figure something out.

This week's Free GM Resource is a web-based video conferencing app called Zoom. Sure, it's largely fee-based, but they do have a freebie option that lets you run a meeting for 40'. That doesn't sound like a long time, but establishing a meeting is easy and honestly, I've yet to be part of an online gaming group that went solid for more than 45' at a stretch. During this current crisis Zoom is offering to lift the 40' cap for educators.

If that's an issue, then the $15/month Pro plan (clearly not free) will work for you.

I've been using it for a couple weeks now, and I'm quite surprised at how easy and intuitive it is to use. I've taken part in/hosted a few video (and sometimes even just audio) conferences in my day and none have been as easy to use as Zoom.....well that technically isn't true, but that one audio conference was like $2 a minute and all people had to do was call in to a specific toll-free #. Zoom is so much better than that $2/minute service was.

The host can also share their computer screen, so being able to show handouts, maps, etc. is quick and easy.

We had a couple of folks on low-bandwidth networks and they couldn't do the video, but they could still easily connect and participate.

I highly recommend that a) you don't give up on gaming during this time and b) if you do a virtual game, give Zoom a try.


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