Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Playing With Skype

When I was raiding regularly with the guild, one of my favorite parts was the ability to talk over VOIP system Ventrillo. I enjoyed raiding before Vent but after we got the chance to talk to each other I was hooked. Not only did raiding become quicker but it offered a more personal opportunity to get to know my guildmates. We would crack jokes that we would never had written out. We quoted movie lines. And we generally had a ton of fun.

I've been missing raiding with the guild although strangely I don't miss playing WoW at all. More than anything I miss the people. Raiding for me was always about handing out with my friends in the guild and less about actually killing anything. I've been hesitant to go back though. I know how much time the game involves.

But the experience with Ventrillo got me interested in other VOIP systems. So when a friend and I started writing emails that took a couple hours to actually write (that long), we moved our conversations over to the phone. But I don't have a ton of minutes and neither does he so we decided a couple weeks ago that I would get a Skype account. For those of you who don't know Skype is a Voice Over Internet Protocol system (VOIP). Basically it is a phone service through your computer. If I am logged on and you know my account name you can call me. And here's the best part. It's free. I'm actually more surprised that people aren't using this system in droves. It's great for free marathon phone conversations. Well I had signed up weeks ago and then didn't do anything with it. I just haven't had time at night to talk. These past couple weeks I'm hardly ever home. And last night we decided, after an hour on the phone, to see how the system worked.

I have to say that compared to Ventrillo, Skype is so much easier and cheaper (Ventrillo charges a small monthly fee). There was no push to talk. There was no loss of connection or log offs. We just got a chance to talk. I used my headset but a built in microphone worked just fne. I could sit on the computer and work on drawing while I talked or sit on the floor and play with the cat. With the headset my hands were free. And one of these nights (when a major baseball game isn't on) I'll unplug the headset and just use the computers mic. Then I can wander throughout the living room and talk. For a free service, this is just incredible. Free phone service! Now I just have to get the rest of my family to get an account.


Nereeza said...

And the guild misses you too! :)

Hope your break from the game is enjoyable, and that you and Thor are doing well..

Nez :)

Cat B said...

Thanks Nez,

Please know that I think of you guys often. Eventually I'll be ready to return but for right now I'm enjoying a bit of extra time to figure out if I'm actually a writer.

Thor is doing well but his classes and school stuff are keeping him very busy.