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  • Writer's pictureBon Blossman

Host a Virtual Murder Mystery Party

Hosting a virtual murder mystery party is a stellar way to spend time with loved ones while social distancing. Here are ten easy steps on how to host a memorable virtual mystery party.

Step one: Choose a video chat host. There are many to choose from with pros and cons to each. Zoom seems to be the fan favorite, but you're only going to get 40 minutes for the free trial. Other options include Skype, Google Hangouts, Discord, Facetime, etc.

Step two: Pick a date and send a save the date to ensure that your most dedicated and outgoing players are available. This can be an informal text message or a fancy printed card. Once you have a consensus for a date, move on to the next step.

Step three: Choose a theme. My Mystery Party has a growing selection of games formatted for video chat. There are decade themed games, spooky games, or traditional murder mysteries. Or maybe, you’re up for a challenging escape room?

Step four: Invite your guests with their character assignments. Give them the login information for the video chat and instruct them to test their microphone, find the best spot for their WiFi, and adjust the lighting in front of their face. Once you have your RSVP’s in and the required players locked, you are all set.

Step five: Send the character packets to your players and engage in the fun pre-game. With virtual games, you will not be printing and preparing clue cards. Everything your players need are in their character packets. The packets have instructions for the players, an extended character bio, pre-game tasks, and information for two rounds of game play. The pre-game is done prior to the actual event. The players will contact each other with messages and use their bios to formulate responses. There is also a pre-game website for them to view that has the video of the game trailer, the full suspect list, and more. Engaging in the pre-game is highly suggested, as it gets your players in the spirit of the game.

Step six: Log into the video chat. Give ample time for troubleshooting problems. Instruct your players to mute their microphones unless they are speaking. Play a test video before the game begins, checking the ‘share audio’ box, to ensure all is in working order, as some virtual games will have video content.

Step seven: Once everyone is ready to go, you’ll read the player instructions, play the game trailer video to set the mood, and launch into round one with the player dialogue. This round will introduce characters and set the motives for murder. Be ready for twists, turns, and intertwined plotlines and everything should be considered essential, so encourage everyone to take notes. There will be some form of group challenge this round where the players work together to solve something – maybe riddles, codes, or puzzling conundrums.

Step eight: Round two starts with character dialogue. These clues will be more focused on the evidence in the case, and each player will establish an alibi – albeit one will be telling a tall tale. After a second group challenge, you might be posed with a crime lab or autopsy report to discuss. Then, each player will submit a final guess of whodunit.

Step nine: After the players guess whodunit, they will accuse who they believe murdered the victim. With My Mystery Party games, the murderer doesn’t know they are guilty, so they might even need to point the finger at their character.

Step ten: the host will either play the solution video or read the solution script from the answer key in the role of the lead homicide detective.

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