I’ve probably written about this before, but there’s another facet of this that’s come up in recent years.
Your gaming group moving away, and away away.
The Seattle area is a pretty vast, sprawling, I dunno, metroplex? There’s Seattle proper, which keeps expanding. Then there’s all the suburbs and neighborhoods that are still kind of their own places, like Shoreline, where we lived for awhile. Then there’s the nearby city/suburbs, like Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Bothell, Renton, Lynnwood, West Seattle.
So, even when people here move while staying in the area, it can be difficult to keep them in a gaming group.
Seattle’s nightmare hellscape traffic doesn’t help at all. Given how long it can take to get anywhere once people get off work, that makes gaming weeknights a little difficult. You can always game on weekends, but as you get older more and more of your friends have kids’ activities they need to do and attend to, that’s when most folks do housework, laundry, etc…
Then there’s the problem of people moving out of state because of housing prices, new jobs, new partners, etc…
For some people, Skype or Google Video Hangouts works great. I’ve run a couple successful Google Video Hangouts campaigns. And yeah, periodically you get a game scheduled, and then there’s a service outage, your internet goes out, a server goes down for maintenance, power outage… But mostly it seems to work pretty well.
The Geek Husband What Rules’s Sunday game is losing two players this month. Both are moving out of state. The GHWR is twitchy about not being tech savvy enough to pull off online gaming. So, these moves likely mean that he won’t be able to keep gaming with them. But maybe not.
For Google Hangouts gaming, you need a computer with a camera, and a mic. There some dice rolling widgets you can load that will display your rolls to the group.
Sometimes there’s lag. Sometimes you’ll wind up talking over each other, but honestly, not really any more than a lot of in-person games. I’ve enjoyed the online/hangouts gaming I’ve done. It does make it a little more difficult as GM to remember to call on your wallflower players more, but some of them are super content with that.
In summation, sometimes being a grown up sucks. You just need to find work arounds.
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