So it begs the question, how do you do gaming in the midst of a pandemic? Well if we are talking about tabletop roleplaying games, then we have to look at the online arena for answers. There are several ways for gamers to get together to play their favorite games. There is Roll20, Tabletop Simulator, and a host of other platforms for gamers to get together and play their favorite games.
I myself have two games I play in through Roll 20 and another through Tabletop Simulator. Each comes with their own challenges and benefits. Roll 20 is totally web based, and it has a voice chat system, but it suffers from lag sometimes if you don’t have a strong internet connection. There have been times when we could not hear each other during voice chat, and we would have to disconnect and reconnect back to the game. Tabletop simulator is not web based, you install the client on your PC and run it and connect to the game server that your GM has created for your game. We use Discord for it’s voice chat feature to be able to communicate using Tabletop Simulator.
On the video game aspect, nothing much has changed. I was still playing online before the pandemic, and I am continuing to play online during the pandemic. I have noticed that I am playing online more than I was when I was working, so not being able to go out and interact with people, has increased my being in front of the small screen. I have noticed also that while playing online, I suffer from bouts of vertigo when I am playing video games. If I play for too long, the room starts to spin and I get the sweats. I usually have to stop playing and take a break.
But this is how the face of gaming is going to look like for the foreseeable future. Until they come up with an antidote for COVID-19, that will allow us to get together in groups again, we will have to get used to playing tabletop role playing games online. Which means that either companies will come up with ways for people to do that, or current systems will be reworked to make the experience better for all involved. Who knows, maybe they will come up with the technology where we can actually “jack into” the game instead of using a keyboard and mouse…One can only dream…