How to turn your Zoom call into an epic game of Guess Who?

Sunday, 3 April 2022 (2 months ago) 36 views
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(Pocket-lint) – You can play a lot of Zoom games to relieve boring video calls. Many people use video platforms to keep in touch, run youth groups or go to school, turning your phone into Guess Who? Can provide you with a wealth of entertainment. You can also play it on Microsoft Teams or Google Meet, although some of the options discussed below are slightly different.

If you’re playing with kids, a great way to start the game is to go on a scavenger hunt. That’s where you ask people to run and collect stuff – having them collect what they need for a guessing game is a huge distraction. – Hats, glasses, fake beards, big necklaces – anything you really want as long as it can be used to dress up your “character”.

How to play Guess Who?zooming

Summon your players and schedule a call

This game requires some players and one person to set up and run the game – the controller. About 20 people is suitable, but you can get bigger or smaller if you want. Remember, it works best when everyone can adapt to the monitor.

Everyone needs to select the gallery view during the call. It varies slightly depending on how you access Zoom, but the best version is the PC or Mac desktop app with a large display. Those using the mobile app may need to swipe to get a different view.

The default number of people Zoom can fit on the screen is 25 – you can scale that up to 49 – although with that many you may find the picture too small to play the game. The host should also select “Hide non-video participants” in Zoom’s video settings menu.

Prepare your participants

Everyone on the call needs to dress and accessories slightly differently to make it more interesting. Someone needs glasses, someone needs a hat, think about color and variety, because that’s what you use to ask questions to eliminate people. As we said above, scavenger hunts are a great way to make sure people have these accessories.

Choose your theme

The controller is the one who decides what the participants are trying to guess – the subject – and then answers the “yes” or “no” questions posed. Best for adults (to start), but fun for kids too, even when things go wrong. You can swap this person at the end of each round – it could be the winner or the previous subject. It’s best for the controller to turn off its own video (you’ll see why below), but some might find this too confusing.

Ask your questions to find topics

There are several ways to ask questions. Either all participants – excluding the controller – take turns asking the typical Guess Who? question. For example “Does this person have long hair?” or “Does this person wear glasses?”. The controller answered these questions, which meant some players were eliminated. It could be that the controller asks who has a question, or selects someone to engage them. This works better for larger groups or younger players.

Alternatively, you can have one person ask the question, but it will leave the others just watching – this may work better in smaller groups or older players.

When participants are eliminated, they close the video by clicking the stop video button in Zoom, leaving the remaining players still in the game visible on the screen. It’s kind of like Guess Who? game. Cleverly, Zoom will only show those who are still playing video (as long as you’ve selected “Hide non-video participants”), which means the remaining participants will grow in size as the game progresses. (This is a good place for the controller to turn off the video.)

With a process of elimination you end up with two final people (probably) and you really have to ask the right questions to narrow it down. When the subject is revealed, the game is over. Keep in mind that it could be that the person asking the question is actually the subject, or it could be that the controller is the subject everyone is trying to guess (in which case the controller needs to have their video turned on).

Those who are “out” can still take turns asking questions to narrow it down. Depending on the number of players, only a few questions may be required, so be prepared to play for a few rounds. Of course, there are a few things the Controller needs to keep an eye on to make sure whoever should be out has their video turned off to keep the game running smoothly.

Of course, if that’s too much trouble and it’s just the two of you talking, you can always play the regular version of the game!


Thanks Kristin and Steve for the inspiration!

Writing by Chris Hall.

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