The Phone Game That Will Revolutionise Your Dining Experience Forever!

I've had this argument a thousand times. I go to dinner with my wife and some of our friends. I spend the whole time on Twitter/Facebook/Path/Social Media flavour of the month. We leave the restuarant. The car journey home is spent arguing about how I spend too much time on my phone, how I ignore people. This is my life.

Until now! This intriguing phone game, called "Don’t Be A Di*k During Meals With Friends" encourages people to put the phone down and talk to one another, or face the consequences — paying the entire bill!

Technically this is not a video game, it's just a regular game, but I'd love to see a smart developer create some sort of wi-fi/bluetooth driven app that augments the experience.

I'll let one of the inventors of the game, first outlined in this Tumblr, explain.

Introducing our new game called:

“Don’t Be A Di*k During Meals With Friends.”

The first person to crack and look at their phone picks up the check.

Our (initial) purpose of the game was to get everyone off the phones free from twitter/fb/texting and to encourage conversations.


1) The game starts after everyone has ordered.

2) Everybody places their phone on the table face down.

3) The first person to flip over their phone loses the game.

4) Loser of the game pays for the bill.

5) If the bill comes before anyone has flipped over their phone everybody is declared a winner and pays for their own meal.

Variations/house rules:

-Starting the game after everyone is seated.

-In the rare event that multiple people flip their phones simultaneously, the bill is split between said players.

- Feel free to invoke penalties/strikes systems.


- No touching or messing with anybody else’s phones.

- I realize I should perhaps think of a different name for this awesome game. Because I don’t mean to imply that everyone who checks their phone during meals is a di*k.

- 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 =).

- 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.

I think it's a great idea — one that families could even use at home with different punishments. Say, the first person to use their phone at the dinner table has to do all the cleaning up!

Thanks Gizmodo!


    What if it's a emergency. I think the phones should be face up so you can at least tell if it's your kids calling you.

      Well it's not about accepting calls, it's about the antisocial facebook/sms thing people do while in a group of others. It's a great idea because this behavior really annoys me, especially at a restaurant.

      I also don't understand why when people arrive at a restaurant or pub, the first thing they do is put their smart phone on the table face up, mine never leaves my pocket. Maybe that's where the temptation comes from

        I find the best way to start is to disable packet data (or it's equivalent) from your phone. My wi-fi is always on, so if I'm at home, work or my friend's place I have internet access. If I'm in the car or out somewhere that isn't one of these three places, I don't.

        It's simple. I don't need to check my email, g+or twitter when I'm out. The only time my packet data gets switched on is if I'm out and need to access my internet banking to transfer money, then it gets switched right off once I'm done. If I'm having dinner or at work/in a meeting, phone's on silent and vibrate only.

        Bad SMS/phonecall etiquette is still on the user, but that's usually only a small portion of the problem - failbook, twitter, g+, etc are the main perps. SMS I find is a fairly close second.

          I only ever turn 3G on when I need it, and then turn it back off when I'm done. Not only does it stop stupid emails coming through, it saves on battery life.

            I also totally avoid any kind of social networking...I'm not on facebook, twitter, google+ or anything. So there's no temptation for me to "need" to check them. I plan on continuing to avoid them for as long as I can. Might seem kind of odd, being the computer/gamer geek that I am that I'm actively avoiding that crap, but it makes sense to me.

        Taking the phone out of my pocket is the only way I remember to turn the ringer off.

    forwarded unto wife with the tag line "you're so going to lose at this one" until i remembered we share bank accounts
    *head meets desk*

    Yeah... I'm on call.

      Me too :<

      We could play Oncall Roulette, first person to get a call, has to pay, doesn't get to eat, and has spontaneous unexpected work to do.

    As long as I can afford it, I like shouting my pals from time-to-time. :P


        Sure, I mean, it's unexpected but I can totally... waaaaait a minute...

    I'm glad this isn't enough of a problem with me and my friends for this to really be relevant.

    As someone who never looks at their phone unless there's something actually urgent while out with friends / family and someone with two family members who are inseparable from their phones, I like this idea. I would get lots of free meals.

    This is a pretty snazzy idea (Now if only I had friends). Nothing bugs me more when we're all having a conversation and someone pulls their phone out to check an FB update/text someone about something/answers a call.

    I've always looked at it as common courtesy to not touch my phone at the table. If I get a text, unless I know its gonna be from a friend asking where we're eating at, I leave it till later. If i get a phone call, I excuse myself and go stand away and take the phone call.

    My biggest problem is talking up and saying "Put the phone away until we're done, bud". This sort of fixes that problem, I guess

      Unfortunately, "common" courtesy isn't all that common. I remember when I was working for a corner store (general goods, take away food, etc) a while back, we refused to serve anyone that was talking on the phone. Some people considered us rude for serving others in preference, but as we told them: "If you're not paying us any attention, why should we serve you?" I often wonder whether people know (or even care) how obnoxious their actions make them seem...
      On the topic at hand, I've escaped through having a Nokia E71, which is on a platform cul-de-sac, and an iPod touch. The former is too horrible to use for online browsing to bother with, and the latter gets only WiFi.

    I love it. I get really annoyed when people pull out their phone at dinner to send SMS/Twitter/Facebook, especially if they're actually in the middle of talking to you!

    i am guilty of playing with my phone all the time, and ti has gotten worse since i quit smoking.

      QUICK start smoking again, cause that is definitely less socially awkward.... and you know... good for you and stuff right?

    Hahaha, all you suckers with your smartphones! Here I am with my nokia 1110!

    Get better friends and provide more stimulating conversation. Seriously. If your 'friends' are finding virtual comfort in fucking FB or twitter during dinner, it might be that you're boring or they're people you're better off cutting loose, to the domain of FB solely. 'dis be crazy talk.

      Also, get off my damn lawn!

      Or perhaps it's because people are addicted to social networking, always afraid they'll miss some piece of super important news.

        They are worried if they don't post what they are doing all their followers will leave them.

        I mean there are people out there waiting desperately to know what they are having for dinner.

    I play the single player version of this game all the time :(

    Clearly keep a PAYG phone in your pocket and call one of the others a few times...

    Good luck getting the phone addict at the table to install it!

    Some people don't see dining out as a social event anymore.
    They're just there to eating, sitting together, but not feeling obliged to engage in any meaningful conversations.
    It's somewhat a sad truth.

    I seriously thought there was an app that uses the light sensor or gyro for that when i read the title.

    wtf would you go to dinner with friends to spend it on your phone?

    It's great to be see all of the feedback and comments on the game. Thank you everyone! Please check out and leave a testimony on our official Phone Stack Facebook page =)

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