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Subject: Cell phones at the gaming table rss

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Charles Gillespie
United States
Stow
Ohio
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I have a small group of friends I play games with. In my group my wife and my friends girlfriend, regularly pull out the phones when they are not actively taking turns. Although be it not every game but most ( not sure how they found time in 7 wonders to catch up on Facebook but what ever). I've yet to approach the subject in fear of alienating them. I also have noticed 2 other members of the group getting frustrated at this activaty. Have you ever dealt with this issue in your group? Share your stories and advice.
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Nathan Larsen
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we have a guy that seems to stay on his phone for whole games. The less he understands the game, the more plays with his phone. He didn't put it down for an entire game of Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia and then after it was over he complained that the game was confusing. I told him to put the phone down every once and a while and maybe he'd figure it out. I've also changed the wifi password told him to stop playing with his phone and in one instance he left it next to me so I put it in my pocket it and told him he could have it back when the game was over.
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Charles Gillespie
United States
Stow
Ohio
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Having a few girls join in on the cardboard fun is rare. The unique situation I face is, it's the girls who have the phones out. Tactics such as hiding phones would go very poorly. One option is lay out some rules for when a gander at the phones is appropriate.
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Eric Johnson
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Yuck! This is not allowed in my gaming group.

It seems that if other people are getting alienated by these "phone people," then you should go right ahead and alienate them by suggesting politely that they turn their phones off during game time.

Set aside a break time for them to feed their Facebook addiction.
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Benjamin Roffey
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We have a diverse bunch of players with varying degrees of AP, so on the longer players turns, playing with your phone is more than acceptable. As long as your not constantly confused with the game state, you could spend the entire time on facebook and nobody at our table would care
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Joseph Betz
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Helping out with the youth group at our church I notice this is becoming a more frequent problem especially among the young people who cannot survive without their faces looking at their phone every few moments.

Not an easy subject to deal with. We have had "no electronic devices rules" during youth group meetings and also when they go away on retreats as the focus is on hanging out with the kids who are there not the ones who are not.

Usually the guys I game with are all older and the cell phone thing is not a problem as one of us might receive a call from our spouse or something but it is never a distraction.





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Jerry Martin
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Loveland
Colorado
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In our Dnd group you lose xp for using your phone.

If it isn't stopping the game than I don't worry about it. But if it is slowing the game I call them out and tell them to put the phone down.
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Mr. Blue
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Doesn't bother me. It's just the flip side of playing with people prone to AP...
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We don't allow cell phones at the gaming table most of the time. Of course if someone has to check in with the baby sitter or has an emergency call we ask that they step away from the table and we pause the game until they can come back.

Of course some games benefit from phones at the table. The messaging aspect of Diplomacy and similar games allows for more discrete communication so we tell everyone to bring their phones for these games.
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Paul Evans
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Wellington
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Depends on the people involved.

Have one mate who does get his phone out, but also stays on top of the game, and plays up quick - so he doesn;t make the game any longer (and his lower concentration lets me slip soem tactics past him).

On the other hand - when you have folk stuffing around on their phone, and then are lost when its their turn, and they themselves are prone to AP then it is not acceptable. This is plain selfish behaviour and needs to be stopped.

I have passed a basket round and demanded phones before. We pretty much all need to be contactable all the time from a work perspective, but this is fine as long as we can hear calls.
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Ryan Thompson

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Start picking games that force them topay attention at all times? It doesn't happen at my groups but we pick games as a group that everyone wants to play so no one is bored enough to play their phones.
 
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Michael Dart
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It comes down to common courtesy.

It's not a problem unless they're holding up play, or are having to ask questions because of rules/moves they've missed.

Of course we'll make exceptions for urgent calls. Mostly it's about not being a jerk and thinking that their time is more valuable than everyone else's.
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Steve B
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Dont really care, just as long as the game is good. We meet in a local pub and occupy a table there with a sofa on one side and chairs on the other. If we are playing Tzolkin or something and someone is on facebook while 3 other people think of their turns, or they get another beer, I really dont care. Its a casual environment.
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non sequitur
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Elk Point
South Dakota (SD)
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DGT cube if you wanna go that route -- certainly works for me, and it has made Terra Mystica a lot more tense. (It's like a 6 player chess timer if you've not heard of it.)

Alternatively, I'd really recommend saying something before you get annoyed. Don't act like it's a big deal, because it really isn't. I tend to just be jocular about it, and say stuff like "ahh I guess it's phone time!" and then pull my phone out and mess around with it. Waiting until you get cross isn't ideal.

You might also try some games w/ simultaneous action selection, too. 7 Wonders, Fairy Tale, Race for the Galaxy, and Sails of Glory are games I favor where there isn't much waiting.
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Eric Johnson
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dekedagger wrote:
we have a guy that seems to stay on his phone for whole games. The less he understands the game, the more plays with his phone. He didn't put it down for an entire game of Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia and then after it was over he complained that the game was confusing. I told him to put the phone down every once and a while and maybe he'd figure it out. I've also changed the wifi password told him to stop playing with his phone and in one instance he left it next to me so I put it in my pocket it and told him he could have it back then the game was over.


You have to be somewhat impressed that a toddler even attempted to play Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia though. Kudos!
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Rick Weckermann
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Powell River
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Though not proper i used a short ranged jammer, it worked out very well. I did make sure no one was expecting important phone calls by asking before gaming night started and told them i was getting poor phone service at my home.
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Christian Gienger
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I keep the phone in my pocket as long as we don't need to look something up on BGG like rules clarification. If someone calls, nobody objects to answering, but everybody knows that it's to be a short call if not really necessary otherwise.

I have to confess that I'm tempted to check mails or read up on a chat every now and then if playing with people taking ages to think, but even then I can resist as it really is rude towards the others.
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Tom D.
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We have a good mix of guys and girls, and all of us have cell phones. I've never made any hard and fast phone rules, but it has not been necessary yet. Everyone who has come to our group understands that they're there to play board games and that if they want to play games on their phones by themselves they are not required to come play with us.
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Austin Andersen
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It depends on the context of the activity engaged on the phones. I believe is generally considered poor etiquette to do something solo on a phone while also engaged in a social activity with others. I believe that if you are going to spend time with others then you should be giving them the attention and not a phone or other electronic device.

I believe that as people get more connected, they sometimes forget basic etiquette.

I believe it is better to address it as soon as possible. If you are going to set up a game night, address it before the game night. This will mean that you should talk to your wife and your friend should talk to his girlfriend. Then when the games are about to begin, simply remind everyone like they do at the theaters about turning off their phones or whatever. Granted if someone has a babysitter watching their kids and want to stay connected they should be able to leave their phones on with the caveat that they only respond to said person.

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Nathan Bentley
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In restaurants we enforce the "Phone game" rule. Everyone puts their phones on the table. If you check your phone without authorization from the rest of the group, you buy the table a round.

You can enforce a similar rule at the game table, such as sacrificing resources, or turns.
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CHAPEL
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I game with nothing but gen-x'ers who aren't as attached to their phone as the younger generation.
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Bryan Thunkd
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This is a great question... I wish I could give you my full thoughts, but the guys are telling me that it's time for me to take my turn now.
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Michael Carter
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I've never had any issues with phones at the table. As long as you aren't slowing down the game, I don't care what you are doing between your turns.
 
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Benjamin Maggi
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I hate them. But, for receiving emergency phone calls I don't mind if others use them. For "multi-taskers" it really bugs me because it distracts me, and it distracts them.
 
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Wesley Williams
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I see this as completely rude. They are, in essence, saying that what they are doing is more important than interacting with the group in front of them. Isn't that why we play face-to-face anyways?

Taking their phone and changing the wifi password just seem passive aggressive and circumventing the issue. I'd speak with them about it privately - being both diplomatic and frank. After that, if they continued they would not get invited back to my group.
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