Did you miss a session from GamesBeat Summit 2022? All sessions are available to stream now. Watch now.

I love running custom games of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Even when I die during one of these matches, the fun isn’t over, because I can go into a spectator mode and watch the rest of the fight as a free-floating camera. The best part about this is that I can use the in-game proximity chat to speak with the remaining players. On Friday, I used this power to help build a team of survivors from beyond the grave.

On Friday nights, I get together with some viewers on Twitch.tv/jeffgrubb to run the PUBG Family Dinner livestream. Folks from a variety of fandoms and communities get together to fight with and against one another. To mix things up last week, I tried some new rules: everyone would go in solo, but everyone was also encouraged to use their in-game voice to team up with other solo players.

This created scenarios where people would hesitate and try to talk their way out of confrontations instead of shooting their way out. Of course, I would just panic and start shooting and then try to talk, and that never really worked.

After getting eliminated early in one of the last matches of the night, I decided to try to use my unholy spectator powers to control the living. Now, this did work.


MetaBeat 2022

MetaBeat will bring together metaverse thought leaders to give guidance on how metaverse technology will transform the way all industries communicate and do business on October 3-4 in San Francisco, CA.

Learn More

As I flew over the woodsy Erangel map, I noticed that a group of five solo players had already teamed up. Everyone else, however, was on their own or in a two-person squad. To help even up the fight, I began frantically flying around and giving these lone wolves information about where they could find a team.

Communicating through the spectator mode is kinda stressful. Everything is based on proximity, so I had to get close enough for each of the players to hear me. This required me to zoom my camera around while repeating myself over and over to ensure that everyone was getting the same instructions.

But, eventually, I was able to bring two solo players together, and then the two small squads joined up. Eventually, we had six players listening to an invisible apparition versus five players that were likely working together in a Discord channel.

Here’s what that all looked like:

Once the two teams were actually engaged, I decided to back off to keep things fair. But also, the fun part was already over for me. The most exciting part was getting trigger-happy PUBG players to work together in situations where they would normally never think twice about shooting first.

But everyone listened, and team ghost ended up winning.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.