So I just finished up a game using the Google+ video chat system called Hangouts. It was a lot of fun. Two players escaped the troll's kitchen, one was eaten and one broke his neck trying to climb out of the dungeon. Somewhere along the way I was told that the limit for people in a Hangout was ten, so foolishly I allowed 9 players to sign up. This created a massive clusterfuck at the beginning of the game as everyone was lagging and some people were dropping in and out. With only five of us we encountered far fewer problems.
It was so smooth I felt like I was playing the game with real live people. All previous attempts at internet gaming left me feeling weird. I think the cues in voice tone and expression, even when communicated sub-optimally, supply a necessary element of the experience for me. That's one of the reasons I never got hooked by MMOs, I think.
I'm going to run the same game tomorrow for anyone who got pushed out by the technology today. After that I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I'm now convinced that Zak is really on to something with this stuff. If you've got the required technology, running a real deal RPG session just got a million percent easier to organize.
SciFi Buzz with Octavia Butler
45 minutes ago