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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

How to Play Zoom’s New Built-in Games Instead of Working


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We all hopped on the group video game train early in our transition to remote-work life—and while Jackbox parties are a pretty poor replacement for “socializing” with our coworkers (and family and friends), they’re at least a little better than hours of endless Zoom meetings focused strictly on work.

Surprisingly, it took Zoom more than a year of worldwide virtual work to integrate games directly into the platform, but the recently launched Zoom Apps Marketplace has a handful of built-in options—Heads Up, poker, and trivia, for example—you can install and play during your meetings or happy hours.

How to install games from Zoom Apps

One caveat to using Zoom Apps: If you are not the account owner (your account is part of an organization rather than personal, for example), you may need to request pre-approval from an admin to install and use apps.

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Zoom’s desktop app installed and open. If you have a personal account, you should see the Apps icon in the top taskbar.
  2. Toggle to Discover and select the game you want to play. (Note that apps aren’t yet categorized or searchable here.) Tap the Add button, which will redirect you to a browser page to authorize the app.
  3. Once you’ve installed the game, you’ll be sent back to your desktop app. All enabled apps will appear under the My Apps tab.
  4. To launch the game, tap Open > Start Meeting or Copy Invite to share the link. Alternatively, you can join a regular meeting and toggle to the Apps tab at the bottom of your meeting screen to start a game.

Image for article titled How to Play Zoom's New Built-in Games Instead of Working

Screenshot: Emily Long

If you don’t see the Apps tab in Zoom, you may not have the latest version or the correct permissions.

  1. Go to the Zoom App Marketplace and select Games from the app category list.
  2. Select the game you want to install. If you aren’t already logged into Zoom, click the blue Sign in to install button. From there, you’ll see either the option to Visit site to install or Request pre-approve.
  3. If you’re able to install without admin approval, you’ll be redirected to the next screen to authorize the app and launch Zoom on desktop, where you’ll pick up the steps listed above.

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