The Big Question: Do You Use A Second Screen While Playing Games?

So I'm playing Metal Gear Solid 5. Having a blast. Love it.

But here's what I did between missions. I bloody started tweeting about it.

I do this all the time. I distract myself from the game I'm playing. I get on a second screen and I take myself out of the game. It's weird, it's counter-intuitive to an 'immersive video game experience', whatever the hell that means.

So question: do you use a second screen when playing games? Do you feel like it enhances your experience or ruins it?


    If people are going to tweet about their breakfast, I'm going to tweet about how I screwed up in Spelunky.

    It just feels odd only having one screen these days. I must have more things!

    Not so much - though if the Dark Souls Wiki was readable on a mobile screen I would

    It depends on the game.
    I'm not a social media kinda guy but sometimes I'll have a wiki or community site or chat program up on another screen.

    I tend to have a second screen open, whether it's Twitter or a Twitch stream or something else. I'm sure it makes a difference to immersion but I still enjoy the game.

    The more distracting thing I find is playing music. If I have my playlist going it can really take me out of the game so I tend to stick to game audio only while doing story missions in things like MGSV. If I'm doing something more grindy then the music helps.

    Only time I can recall is when playing The Binding of Isaac Rebirth. Almost a requirement to have a second screen when trying to determine what an item does and how it will impact your current build. You can make a huge mistake picking up some items that completely ruin your build.

    Yep, nearly all the time. 2 TV's in my lounge room: gaming on one, and whatever sport is on FOX on the other

    I have a second screen for my PC but it rarely, if ever, gets used whilst gaming. Outside of the odd movie I might have up on one screen when playing hearthstone or LoL, I generally only use it for internetting purposes.

    Nope. Tried it a few years back, didn't care for it. Also tried having a small TV in place of the second screen, mainly for watching while I was waiting for players in Dota 1 lobbies (seriously, it could take hours to find a game back in the day)... but that didn't really work out either.

    I don't even have a second screen at home anymore. My work gave me a laptop so I just plug in the screen from my gaming rig if I need to work at home, otherwise it's just a single monitor setup for gaming.

    Metal Gears second screen is excellent.

    Although it does chew the phones battery a fair bit.

    But if you're talking about a second screen as in doing other stuff, yes all the time my ps4 is hooked up to my computer monitor, so I do web browsing/watching shows while gaming.

    Last edited 14/10/15 11:54 am

    Yeah gotta have my fill of the YouTubes, reddit, Kotaku etc while space trucking :-D
    Might add a third for ultimate immersion one day but money

    Watching stuff: Sometimes. Playing games: generally no, unless there's stupidly long load times and I have to amuse myself during them (I'm looking at you, Bloodborne).

    I don't think I play games without a second screen. My computer's pretty much always on if I'm home, and if it's on the Skype's running with whatever conversations are going on there. Then if it's night the TV around the corner is usually on with something I'm half paying attention to. So if anything, any gaming is the second screen to whatever was already going on.

    No. I feel it would break the immersion, which is why I play games in the first place.

    I voted yes but it comes with a lot of qualifiers. For instance I wouldn't play my first run of Alien Isolation with something on the other screen. However I totally play Magic while watching anime. On the PC I'm constantly doing stuff on the other screen because the controls are in my hands. The temptation to distract myself that way is actually why I avoid PC games outside of MMOs.
    When I get my new apartment I'm going to have a pair of 4K screens and another XBOX One. That way I'll be able to use Kinect for media control with Netflix while playing PS4/XBOX One/Wii U/PC on the other. It sounds ridiculous but it relaxing is very important to me. I work a thousand times better as long as I have the chance to unwind, and I'm so used to multi-tasking that it's actually easier to focus on two things instead of one.

    Multiple screens (3+ a TV to be exact)

    main screen for dem games
    2nd for wiki or twitch or chat or whatever
    3rd for streaming NBA (I have league pass and like to watch as many games as possible)
    and the TV just in case there is actually something worth while watching (or for Netflix etc)

    I also have a TV tuner in my PC so I can switch it up and watch TV on the PC if I am playing a Console on the TV.

    Yes I realise this is overly I don't care, cause I loooove it!!

    if I am really into a game though I will go one screen only for full immersion, both Witcher 3 and MGS both have had me playing only on the one screen with no distractions.

    Almost always. I have a triple screen setup with PIP capable screens, so 1 for games, 1 for movie/tv/music, 1 for net, unless I really want to be immersed (in which case it's all 3 screens) or the game doesn't allow window mode (looking at you Assassin's Creeds) but that's when picture in picture comes in handy.

    I voted yes, but I would rather not. Games with 10 million collectible items I like to have a map that I can cross off when I've found one. That way when I've finished the game, I can go back and pick them up without getting to the end and found I've missed one, somewhere. Games that have ingame icons for collectibles like Far Cry or Saints Row I close off the second screen altogether and just enjoy it. More games need this, even if its something you can buy (with ingame currency) after the main story is over.

    Only if I need a guide when going after trophies, which I almost never do on a first playthrough.

    I tried it for MGSV and it was cool having the map update in real time, so i could just glance down at it and see where I'm going, but it's not THAT much of an advantage. So after the novelty wore off I forgot about it and it's fine.

    Could be cool if another player (without a controller) could participate with their tablet/phone/whatever and have meaningful impact. I'm thinking of helping friends in The Division while you're at the in-laws and can't get to your console.

    I had 2 monitors, then I got a 34" 21:9 monitor. No comparison. If I need to do a quick search I use my phone.

    As some others have said, it depends on the game for me. If it's a serious story game that I'm really interested in, I like to focus 100% on it, similarly if it's something insanely difficult that I feel like I can't handle outside distractions (like SuperMeatBoy on PS4 at the moment).

    On the other hand, games like Hearthstone, or recently Ark (if I'm doing something relaxing like building) I often play while watching TV or something.

    It depends entirely on the game for me. Sometimes I don't have a choice, as loading the game will just blank out my 1920 screen, but others leave it with IRC/skype/twitter visible, which I do like, as i can see what's happening, and if people message me outside steam.
    Some games like Supreme Commander (2 as well) allow me to use both screens for gameplay, although independent of each other (So rather than 1 game play field stretched across both screens, it allows me to treat both screens as separate interfaces) which is kind of cool, cos I can use one screen to get an overview of the battle, or zoom in on a specific area, while leaving my other screen zoomed in on my base or whatever.

    Depends on the game. If it's an MMO I'll have the second screen running a show or something else to keep me entertained during the grind. If a game gets grindy, it's time to use that screen! If not, I'm too focused on the game to care about the other screen.

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