I am having a blast using various large group games that are driven by our video screen. I only utilized them a few times towards the end of the school year but I’m already making plans to use them regularly in the fall.

Crowd Ball was the first game I came across at www.CrowdControlGames.com (where you can find a variety of games for $25 a pop). I was pretty excited at the idea of using this game for two reasons: 1) very similar to Atari’s Pong AND 2) the game responds and is controlled by audience noise. That’s right, this game pits the audience vs. the computer in this classic back-and-forth game. The rules are simple

  1. Increase noise for your paddle to go up.
  2. Decrease noise for your paddle to go down.

It’s that simple.

When we tested the game out prior to using it in a large group setting it was pretty sweet and relatively easy to play. However, when we played it with over 100 students in the room it was much more difficult to control and the computer schooled my teens. The score counters can go on forever, but we chose to end our game at 10. Despite being chaotic and a little out of control, the game was pretty fun.

One down side, and not a deal breaker by any means, was that the game is advertised to have a customizable text box that you can type in while playing, however we couldn’t get ours to work. Not the end of the world, but we were a little bummed that the feature didn’t actually exist.

We will probably bust this game out a couple of times for our large groups next year and might break it out for other special events.

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