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Problem With Mobile Phone Distractions


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Hi Hero Peeps: I run a regular Hero System game in a monster hunter genre.  I am having tons of fun running it but I have a problem...

 

My players are constantly getting distracted by their mobile phones.

 

I have talked to my players about it but it does not seem to be sticking.

 

Now some questions...

  1. Would you be offended if I hung a sign in my gaming room about turning off your mobile phone?
  2. Would you be offended if I asked everyone to turn off their phones before each session?
  3. Am I being too sensitive? 

 

Thanks gang!  :D

 

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This is such a basic soft skill (socially) that my mind boggles at the notion while at the same time finding myself  teaching younger co-workers how to be professional in the office.

 

Gaming is just like having a work meeting and the same expectations apply: be on time, wear clean clothes, smell nice, put your phone on vibrate and leave it in your pocket, chat with the people who are in the room with you before and after the meeting. You make contacts and build teams and trust that way.

 

NO PHONES AT THE TABLE. FULL STOP.

 

Its discourteous and says "I'd rather be doing something else" than participate in your boring game. Call it out and don't budge. Its bad behavior stemming from dopamine addiction. If their kids or SO or work must be able to call them in event of emergency they can set a unique ring tone and leave it in their pocket forsaking all others. If they are there to play they owe every person at the table their undivided attention and active partcipation.

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I wouldn't be offended at a sign but I also wouldn't expect players to respect and obey a sign.

 

If you want no phones at the table, tell the players you want no phones at the table and tell them why. And if someone has a legitimate family or work emergency where they need to be available (wife is very pregnant or the player is an on-call doctor), make an exception for them to take calls from that one source.

 

People will take calls, "take a quick look" for something in a sourcebook then end up surfing for an hour, start playing a phone game, or do Facebook if you don't let them know that kind of behavior is unacceptable.

 

Today you can be having a face-to-face conversation with someone and it's become acceptable for someone to interrupt the conversation to do whatever the hell they want on their phone and only half-pay attention to the conversation. So your players likely aren't coming into the game with the mindset that using their phone whenever they want, and however they want, is inherently disruptive.

 

So if you want them to know that, you have to tell them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/2/2018 at 5:55 PM, Vondy said:

This is such a basic soft skill (socially) that my mind boggles at the notion while at the same time finding myself  teaching younger co-workers how to be professional in the office.

 

Gaming is just like having a work meeting and the same expectations apply: be on time, wear clean clothes, smell nice, put your phone on vibrate and leave it in your pocket, chat with the people who are in the room with you before and after the meeting. You make contacts and build teams and trust that way.

 

NO PHONES AT THE TABLE. FULL STOP.

 

Its discourteous and says "I'd rather be doing something else" than participate in your boring game. Call it out and don't budge. Its bad behavior stemming from dopamine addiction. If their kids or SO or work must be able to call them in event of emergency they can set a unique ring tone and leave it in their pocket forsaking all others. If they are there to play they owe every person at the table their undivided attention and active partcipation.

 

A-frakin-men!!!

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