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BBO Video Chat and club use Thoughts and feedback

#1 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-May-25, 03:27

My local virtual club has run two tournaments now with BBO Video Chat enabled and players' views have been extreme.

There is a subset who think that this is the future of bridge. They like being able to converse with partner and their opponents and feel that it creates a very friendly atmosphere.

There is a subset who feel that it is a distraction to playing bridge. They find it more difficult to concentrate and have instantly taken a dislike to it. Some of this subset have previously been vocal about the noise levels at the club, especially at the end of rounds.

There is a minority who do not join the video and audio. I suspect fear of technology is a major reason, although old iPads, old laptops and lack of camera contribute too.

There is a significant but smaller number who do not have the broadband capability to support video. We live in a poorly served part of the UK and several members live in remote parts of that.

Even those with reasonable broadband and newish computers reported a major slowdown in performance and their ability to play on BBO was compromised. In particular the cards were very slow. This was particularly acute for households with two players where they only have reasonable rather than superfast broadband.

A major issue for most complainants is the inability to prevent video coming in. For some it is the distraction, for others it just kills their poor broadband.

I expect that we shall not enable Video Chat in future events until people have the ability to turn it off. Which is a pity when many enjoy it.

The Beer Card

I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades

#2 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-25, 09:22

Another thing to think about is the people that want video chat because of the "friendly atmosphere" are probably going to be the ones that get very unfriendly if one of their opponents won't join in. I expect to hear about the same kind of "gentle pressure to conform" we get around many other things, which is going to be uncomfortable for the "no video" people.

Given the complaints about the anonymous nature of bridge online (even with friends) it was amazing to see the intense lack of interest in screenmate-zoom last weekend in the GNT. Some of that is "don't know how/don't have hardware to do it", but some was just "why?" And this in a very serious event (albeit a very serious event where almost everybody has after-game partied with each other for years).
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)

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