Gaming in the Digital Age: Living in the Cloud

Gamers in the digital age need never worry about lost character sheets again, thanks in part to could based storage services.  For those not in the know, “could based storage services” are services that allow you to store items, like documents and .pdfs, online where they can be accessed by pretty much any computer with access to the internet.

I’ve found Dropbox to be excellent for this.  Not only can you upload and access via the web, but there is a desktop client that you can download as well.  There are other services that provide cloud based storage, such as Google Docs and Microsoft Sync, but we’re going to concentrate on Dropbox as that’s what I’m most familiar with.  Oh, and most services allow for some space for free and some have options to increase the amount of storage space for a price.  However, I’m finding the free portion to be sufficient (I have something like 2.75 gigs on Dropbox for free).

What we’ve done in our group is created a folder for each player as well as a folder for each game for general items such as treasure lists and adventure recaps.  The folders are then shared out to the appropriate players and they can use those folders to put their character sheets, any notes they might need, tokens for use with MapTool, images and so on.  And Dropbox automatically syncs with my Dropbox folder on any of my computers, so I can work with items locally and, the next time I go online, everything in the Dropbox folder is automatically uploaded to Dropbox.

At work, where I can’t install the Dropbox application, I can still access Dropbox via a web browser so if I need to  work on adventure notes or check out someone’s character sheet, I can do so easily.  Furthermore, with the Goodreader app for my iPad, I can download stuff that’s in my Dropbox or work on stuff on the iPad and upload it to my Dropbox.  As a result, I always have the latest version of my players’ sheets, campaign notes, adventure recaps, NPC stats and so on at my beck and call.  Granted, the loading of documents can be done offline, but if one of my Pathfinder players updates his sheet in the middle of the work day, I can immediately check it out and grab the updated sheet and, with my players being spread out (literally) all over the country, the ability for them to share, and read shared, documents is extremely useful.

No more lost character sheets or campaign notes, no more accidentally-deleted emails, no more searching through emails…everything is placed in a convenient spot.  Even if you don’t game online, you should give could-based storage a shot!

[tags]Gaming in the digital age,role playing games,rpgs[/tags]

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