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'Phone-stack' game goes viral, promotes cell-free zone at table

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 11, 2012 in Odd News
A new game created by a blogger on popular network Tumblr has gone viral.
In an age where mobile and "being connected" reigns king, this game encourages people to put the phone away for a time and enjoy the company in one's presence.
Nowadays mobile phones have a prominent place in society, however since their emergence, there have been concerns over what is perceived as rudeness.
In 2006 one poll suggested Americans thought societal behavior was rude when it came to cell phones. Go back a little further, to 2002 when there were only 137 million cells in U.S, the topic had surfaced enough to create a "cell phone Courtesy Month" (does anyone even remember this?).
Figure this was before the Internet was linked to mobile. Fast-forward a few years and the topic is still around, enough where someone came up with a game to try and curb some of the issues often cited with cell phone use when in the company of others.
The blogger, Brian "Lil b" Perez, posted the game about a week ago, but it's going viral and garnering a lot of attention. At this writing, Perez' post has 61,672 shares/reposts by fellow Tumblrs and is being dubbed "The Phone Stack."
The idea behind "The Phone Stack" is simple. When family and/or friends are out to dinner, happy hour, party or other gathering, everyone stacks their phone on the table and leaves them alone.
The first person to falter and give in to temptation to glimpse at or answer the buzz, chirp or jingle coming from the device on the table, picks up the tab for everyone at the table.
Perez writes "Our (initial) purpose of the game was to get everyone off the phones free from twitter/fb/texting and to encourage conversations."
There are five rules to the game: 1) Game starts after everyone has ordered 2) Phones are placed face down on the table 3) First person to crack and flip over their phone to check a text or feed loses 4) Said loser pays the cost of everyone's meal 5) If no one falters, everyone is a winner and pays their own portion of the bill.
Perez says the phones theoretically do not need to be stacked, the main intention is to get people talking to one another instead of being focused on their phone's content.
Perez wrote, "I recommend not being such a stickler or hardass on people about the rules and even initiation of the game. Basic premise is to just get people open to the idea of staying active and attentive to one another. But if someone has to take a call; they have to take a call."
He concludes his post with, "Have fun! It’s really more of a fun concept in this new age high tech life of ours. Conversation is the spice of life."
The Globe and Mail reported "The Phone Stack" was gaining a lot of attention on Twitter. This reporter did a search on Twitter and saw rapid comments being posted about the game which included:
@AshAhrens: "Interesting concept even w/o the tab threat."
@nwlynch "We are too attached to our cell phones I'm guilty too, I like this..."
@animerat "Awesome new game when having dinner with friends. I'm gonna cheat by turning my phone off first."
The Inquisitr asks, "Is it just me, or is it sad that the phone stacking game has to exist in order for people to put down their cell phones and actually chat with their friends?"
No, probably not just you.
More about phone stacking, viral game, tumblr, dinner conversation, Technology