re: Players Playing an MMO on Laptop, while playing a PFS table top game.


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Silver Crusade 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How would you feel, if you were GMing a PFS scenario, and 2/3rds through the scenario you discovered one of your players at the table was playing World of Warcraft, or some other MMO on their laptop while you were running your game?

How would you feel?


I'd be pretty annoyed. Do you play a casual once in a while or a weekly game? Is he just goofing off on WoW or is he actually part of a committed raiding guild who has weekly requirements?


Depends on how much said player has interacted at the table. If he or she has been quiet/agreeable, rolling only when asked, etc. then I'd be more than a little peeved, but if he or she's been active--then I'd be fine with it. So, really, it's up to how well said player can multi-task.

Liberty's Edge 2/5

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Myles: Id feel:

Peeved
Angry
Puzzled
Perplexed
Annoyed.

What would i do about it? Id make it clear that I would prefer they not do that in the games I run. We dont have control or say on what they do in other games but Id like to think the gm has a say on the manners on show at his/her table.

We have a player locally who facebooks as he is playing and runs herolab off his laptop screen. I find it horrendously rude myself but im not going to step in unless the gm does. I just think its a slap in the face to a person who is giving their time to let you play.

Silver Crusade 1/5

I've HAD this happen, but someone was coding stuff during game. I was very ticked off. I don't run for that group anymore.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Anyone who doesn't want rocks to fall on them say "not it"
1...2..3...

'Dead!

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

Myles Crocker wrote:

How would you feel, if you were GMing a PFS scenario, and 2/3rds through the scenario you discovered one of your players at the table was playing World of Warcraft, or some other MMO on their laptop while you were running your game?

How would you feel?

I would tell them, in front of the entire table (as I have several times before), to shut it off or leave my table. I have no qualms about letting people know they are disrupting a game or making a game not fun for the other participants. This will usually get others that are afraid of confrontation to speak up as well.

Silver Crusade 5/5

It depends on whether they were able to do that and have meaningful interaction. If I found out someone was playing an MMO at one of my tables and wasn't really participating in the scenario and slowing things down, I would ask them to stop playing the MMO. If they continued, I would ask them to leave my table and issue them a 0-gold, 0-PP, 0-EXP cert. If they're going to take up a spot at the table, they should be considerate to the GM and the other people playing.

4/5

I've been playing pathfinder with a group of friends before and logged onto the Diablo III AH (back when that was a thing) to snipe bid at the end, but actually playing a game?

I've also played DnD 3.5 with a friend who wasn't terribly interested, who played smash brothers melee with himself pretty much the whole time, pausing when needed.

I'd ask if they're not enjoying interacting with the session if there is anything you could do to improve their session, and if they say no, what draws them to play PF/PFS to begin with? I'm more curious than anything else.

Liberty's Edge 2/5

There is always the situation when friend tags along because he has nothing else to do and isnt terribly interested in 'that Dungeons and Dragons thing'.

I think in a PFS sense they might be simply there to get the table to the 3 and then a pregen is shoved in for player 4.

Im not going to extend on Myles point anymore than that. Playing an mmo or computer game whilst you are in someones society game is just wrong. It dosnt matter if it isnt your turn, or that you can pay attention whilst the game is going on. It's just not done.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

David_Bross wrote:


I've also played DnD 3.5 with a friend who wasn't terribly interested, who played smash brothers melee with himself pretty much the whole time, pausing when needed.

I'd ask if they're not enjoying interacting with the session if there is anything you could do to improve their session

Omg. For reals? You, being the GM, question this behavior? Be exciting! Be descriptive! You get to be the director of a fantasy movie where your friends are the actors!

Scarab Sages 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Maglok

I'd tell the person to quit it and not let it happen again. Enough players that actually want to play on waitlists after all.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Myles Crocker wrote:

How would you feel, if you were GMing a PFS scenario, and 2/3rds through the scenario you discovered one of your players at the table was playing World of Warcraft, or some other MMO on their laptop while you were running your game?

How would you feel?

About the same as I feel when one of the old farts at the table interrupts the game with story time every time anything happens that reminds him of some great story from his previous 30 years of gaming.

What's special about MMOs versus other derails?

Grand Lodge 5/5

I'd kindly ask them to put it away until the session was over. If they didnt want to, Id probably give them the chronicle now and ask them to leave the table.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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Seth Gipson wrote:
I'd kindly ask them to put it away until the session was over. If they didnt want to, Id probably give them the chronicle now and ask them to leave the table.

I think a lot of you are being too territorial - I agree most with 'detect magic' in saying if it is not interrupting the game - if the person is engaging, involved, paying attention then what is the problem? If they can do that while on an MMO - then chances are they aren't playing the MMO, they are crafting or farming or station keeping (or pressing some heal key every seconds on a raid).

if the person is always late on figuring his actions, doesn't pay attention, etc, then it is a problem.

However, if the latter is the case, it may not be a MMO, but might be people in general surfing the web or reading something on a device.

Grand Lodge 5/5

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Dhjika wrote:
Seth Gipson wrote:
I'd kindly ask them to put it away until the session was over. If they didnt want to, Id probably give them the chronicle now and ask them to leave the table.

I think a lot of you are being too territorial - I agree most with 'detect magic' in saying if it is not interrupting the game - if the person is engaging, involved, paying attention then what is the problem? If they can do that while on an MMO - then chances are they aren't playing the MMO, they are crafting or farming or station keeping (or pressing some heal key every seconds on a raid).

if the person is always late on figuring his actions, doesn't pay attention, etc, then it is a problem.

However, if the latter is the case, it may not be a MMO, but might be people in general surfing the web or reading something on a device.

If the game is on, they are playing it. Simple as that.

You are welcome to allow people to play other games at your table, but I put a lot of effort and time into the prep work I do to GM a table. If the players sitting with me cant respect that, they can find someplace else to sit.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I think surfing, instant messaging, etc during a game is terribly rude, emergencies and necessities notwithstanding. But still... I'm not going to make a fuss as long those involved can focus on the session as well.

1/5

I think it's disrespectful to the spirit of roleplaying.
As others have said, if the guy is just crafting, I probably wouldn't care, presuming that he's always aware of the situation at the table. If he's multi-tasking two games, that falls directly under one of the Rules of Organized Play: Don't be a jerk.

I've seen GMs call out players for being too much on their phone doing texts than playing the game (rightfully, because the player was slowing down the game, unaware of table happenings, and not ready on his turn. It worked nicely.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Jiggy wrote:
Myles Crocker wrote:

How would you feel, if you were GMing a PFS scenario, and 2/3rds through the scenario you discovered one of your players at the table was playing World of Warcraft, or some other MMO on their laptop while you were running your game?

How would you feel?

About the same as I feel when one of the old farts at the table interrupts the game with story time every time anything happens that reminds him of some great story from his previous 30 years of gaming.

What's special about MMOs versus other derails?

We, first of all, if the GM didn't really notice until 2/3s of the way through then I don't really think it was a derail. So at least in that regard it is better than 'Old Fart Story Time.' I do, however, feel it is a sign of disrespect to the GM that you are more interested in playing WoW than playing the game he is running.

Of course, a lot of that can depend on the situation. I have been in home games that involved a lot of one on one RP with the GM and the players were expected to find their own entertainment while they waited their turn. But if someone is going to the effort (and expense) of running you in a mod at a scheduled gameday or Con, then I think they deserve more than 50% of your attention.

Old Fart Story Time:

I used to play in large group (8-12 players at the table). One of the players was a guy name John. John always did his homework while playing D&D. When it was John's turn we would tell him to attack (he played a fighter so that his options were simple). Without looking up from his homework, he would roll a die and announce his pluses. His girlfriend would then look at the die, add his announced pluses and tell the DM what John got. Repeat and rinse for damage. It was a bit odd, but since John had a system that quickly put him through his turn and we had plenty of other players at the table, we didn't mind.


What exactly is "the spirit of roleplaying"?

1/5

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When I was at PaizoCon las year, it was so incredibly loud in the main room, I could not understand the GM unless I was sitting next to him/her. I was not the only player with this problem. It is beyond annoying to sit at the table and have no idea what is going on because you can't hear the GM.

Even at local games stores, I've had the same problem. We have two tables right on top of each other and half the game I couldn't clearly make out what was being said because the GM is speaking into the scenario or simply focuses on the players to his/her right and left because they are the only two who can hear.

If I were in the reverse situation (not that that this is the case here), I could understand a player getting bored and looking for something to do. IF this person were sitting right next to me and had done this several times, then I would just ask that person, at the beginning of the game, not to play a computer game during the session.

But as others have said, I would first look to myself. Can the other players here me? Am I making the story exciting, am I making eye contact?

But I'm also going to point out that on less person competing for air-time isn't necessarily a bad thing. My only concern is the other players get turned off. In general, the game is more enjoyable when everyone is engaged. And while I do think it is rude to engage in such activity, I would not take it personally even if it were a criticism on my GMing.

Dark Archive 4/5

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Detect Magic wrote:
What exactly is "the spirit of roleplaying"?

He comes at midnight to announce that you'll be visited by three ghosts, the ghost of Roleplaying Past, Present, and Future.


Ah, I thought perhaps he was one part of a holy trinity (of dice gods, that is).

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I would like to think that anybody multi-tasking like that would first let the table GM know what he's doing. "Is it all right with you if I have my tablet open and run some maintenance on my WOW character? I don't expect it will be disruptive."

I would like to think that anybody running a game and seeing something like that going on would ask quietly rather than escalating to a scene where the player needs to Back Down in Shame.

Having said that, there are times at my table that I expect everybody's attention, like the mission briefing or scenes where an NPC is interacting with the whole party. If you're playing games, or looking up the rules to your gear, or surfing facebook, I'll wait until I have your attention.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Detect Magic wrote:
What exactly is "the spirit of roleplaying"?

Spirit? looks up from laptop

TURN UNDEAD!

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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At any table there's going to be distractions. Maybe it's another table being boisterous, maybe it's half-way through the game and players want to get a food order going—whatever the situation, the only thing I expect as a GM is that my players try their best to pay attention.

If they just got a new feat, item, or ability and want to share it with the party, I'm not going to drop the hammer on them for chatting about it. If someone wants to go buy snacks I'm not going to require they get a hall pass from me first. All I expect is that they use good judgement.

When I'm giving the VO briefing? Not a good time to talk about your sweet build.
When their turn is coming up? Not a good time to go get food.

I've had players browsing the internet or chatting on IM during my games, but they've all be respectful enough to do so while I'm drawing a map or engaged in RP one-on-one with another player—times when they're not actively doing anything at the table. I don't feel the same is possible with something like an MMO.

If a player whips out their laptop and starts playing an mmo, they are clearly not trying their best to pay attention. I honestly don't know exactly what I'd do because such a thing hasn't happened at my table. If it did, I definitely make it clear that playing a video game while we're playing Pathfinder is pretty uncool. I could list the reasons why, but I'd hope we all know them.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Walter Sheppard wrote:
I've had players browsing the internet or chatting on IM during my games, but they've all be respectful enough to do so while I'm drawing a map or engaged in RP one-on-one with another player—times when they're not actively doing anything at the table. I don't feel the same is possible with something like an MMO.

Why not?

Quote:
If a player whips out their laptop and starts playing an mmo, they are clearly not trying their best to pay attention. I honestly don't know exactly what I'd do because such a thing hasn't happened at my table. If it did, I definitely make it clear that playing a video game while we're playing Pathfinder is pretty uncool. I could list the reasons why, but I'd hope we all know them.

I'd actually be curious to hear the list. I mean, I'm not very familiar with MMOs in particular, but there are an awful lot of video games for which there's at least portions of the game that take even less concentration than the things you said you're okay with. So where's the problem?


Dresden10589 wrote:
Detect Magic wrote:
What exactly is "the spirit of roleplaying"?
He comes at midnight to announce that you'll be visited by three ghosts, the ghost of Roleplaying Past, Present, and Future.

It's the Ghost of Grognard Past!, thank you very much!

Grand Lodge 4/5

Hmm.. I've PATCHED programs while gaming.. but that is as far as I go. I typically use my tablet for gaming so I make sure that it doesn't eat all my attention since half the fun is gaming.

I know others who do facebook games while gaming.. but WoW? Nah..not really.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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Having played WOW extensively for several years (and some other MMOs afterwards), I feel I'm qualified to speak about MMOs in general. Obviously everyone plays games to differently, but for me and a lot of people I know, MMOs are notorious time sinks and attention hogs.

WOW Qualifications:

Some of these will only make sense if you played the game.

  • I played pre-BC through WOTLK, stopped pre-CATA; about 4-5 years
  • Server second blood elf paladin to 70
  • Server first DK to 80
  • Celebrated a "WOW birthday"
  • Participated in server first clears of Kara, BT, COT, NAXX, TOC, and HTOC before I stopped playing
  • Season 3, 4 Gladiator
  • Possessed several 'rare' mounts: Zulian tiger, Razzashi raptor, ZA bear, Deathcharger, etc

    Basically, I played WOW a lot.

  • The major problem with MMOs is that you can't pause them. This is true of all internet-based games, but MMOs in particular always have something you can do. You're always running to and from locations, clicking on quest items, looking for quest mobs, or chatting with people in the game. It's a rare day that there's nothing to do in the game. This means that it's really difficult to stop paying attention to your screen and focus on something else.

    MMOs are also flashy and distracting for anyone else that can see the screen. I've seen people look over and screen peek when people are on the internet at a table, I can only imagine that with a video game it's going to be much worse. Now, as a GM, you're competing with that game for multiple people's attention.

    I think that GMs already have a difficult task ahead of them, and adding an MMO to the equation is just asking for trouble. Having to capture someone's imagination, along with several other people, and draw their attention into a world that exists within our imagination is hard enough without having to compete against an incredibly popular game format that's part of a billion dollar industry.

    Personally, if my entire freshman year of college couldn't compete against an MMO, what chance does a GM with 5 hours of my time and some dice have?

    1/5

    Jiggy wrote:
    I'd actually be curious to hear the list. I mean, I'm not very familiar with MMOs in particular, but there are an awful lot of video games for which there's at least portions of the game that take even less concentration than the things you said you're okay with. So where's the problem?

    As Walter said, the big issue with an MMO is that the combat is always real-time. Sure, if you're not in a mission/instance then you can stand at the store idle for 15 minutes before the game auto-logs you out. But once you start combat, you can't pause it. You either defeat them or they defeat you (assuming they can defeat you if you do nothing). It's not uncommon for players who lose connectivity in the middle of combat to find out they have face planted when they log back in.

    The other factor is that if your are in a group/team on the MMO, they expect you to be active. Usually the team leader may kick you from the group if you are not moving.

    So yeah, an MMO is different than a normal video game in this context, mainly because you can't pause the combat.

    EDIT: Another thing about MMOs that use instancing (creating of a game space just for your character when you enter a mission) is that if you quit the game before completing the mission, your progress is usually lost. So that means if you start a mission, you don't want to quit or log out.

    Liberty's Edge 2/5

    WE had this happen in our Rise of the Runelords Game... It is frustrating as much as a player at that table as a it is a GM... Honestly after 4 hours of dealing with when ever his turn came up having to re-explain the last 3 players moves and what is going on... I got so frustrated I was visibly upset and pushed to call it for the day.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Velsa wrote:
    WE had this happen in our Rise of the Runelords Game... It is frustrating as much as a player at that table as a it is a GM... Honestly after 4 hours of dealing with when ever his turn came up having to re-explain the last 3 players moves and what is going on... I got so frustrated I was visibly upset and pushed to call it for the day.

    Honestly, I would tell them once to put it away. If they refused, then I had them their chronicle sheet. They are done for the module. This type of behavior is simply rude and obnoxious.

    5/5

    I wouldn't accept it at my table. It is disrespectful to the GM and to the other players. If you are sat at the table you are there to play. If you aren't interested in playing then don't take up the seat which could have gone to someone who was interested. I feel much the same about people who spend a lot of time texting or IM'ing during the game.

    Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    andreww wrote:
    I wouldn't accept it at my table. It is disrespectful to the GM and to the other players. If you are sat at the table you are there to play. If you aren't interested in playing then don't take up the seat which could have gone to someone who was interested. I feel much the same about people who spend a lot of time texting or IM'ing during the game.

    What if he is? What if he's the most attentive and engaged person at the table despite his multitasking?

    Though I'm not great at multitasking myself, there are plenty of folks who could easily be doing 1d3 other things while still being fully engaged in the game at hand; I've even met people who will be MORE engaged in the game at hand BECAUSE they have a second thing going on. My own mother, for example, is so scatterbrained that if you try to focus her on one task, she'll wander in minutes. But if you focus her on TWO tasks, that second task siphons away enough "excess attention" that she can stay on-target with the main thing you wanted her to do in the first place instead of thinking of some random other thing and wandering off to do that. I have literally run a D&D session with her while she was simultaneously playing a board game with other family members, and it was the longest I've ever seen her stay in one place.

    So all these assumptions I'm seeing that someone playing an MMO is clearly "not interested" and so forth are pretty ill-advised and, well, assumptive.

    It's not a problem until it's a problem, and the fact that it's an MMO doesn't change that.

    Silver Crusade 5/5

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Thank you all for your thoughts. I suppose it is good to know I am not alone in my feelings. If someone is playing an MMO on their laptop, while sitting and playing at a table I am running, simply put, I find such behavior insulting. Perhaps in the future I should simply ask players with lap tops not to play other MMOs on their computers while they are playing pathfinder at a table that I am GMing at. That should clear up any confusion.

    Agan thank you for your thoughts.

    Dark Archive 4/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Brisbane aka YogoZuno

    I regularly play with a group that are using their laptops to manage characters. I have no issue with that, but they also use the laptops to play Facebook games, while playing. It annoys the hell out of me, but they seem to participate at much the same level as when they don't. At least one of the players has talked previously about actively multitasking in much the same way at work.

    The storeowner has tried to ban laptops at the table a couple of times, and it's fallen on deaf ears.

    Liberty's Edge 3/5

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    If I had no idea the player was playing an MMO, then they must be very good at doing both at the same time. As long as their multitasking isn't obviously affecting the game, more power to them.


    Chris Mortika wrote:
    I would like to think that anybody multi-tasking like that would first let the table GM know what he's doing.

    A very valid point.

    Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    Ryan Costello wrote:
    If I had no idea the player was playing an MMO, then they must be very good at doing both at the same time. As long as their multitasking isn't obviously affecting the game, more power to them.

    This.

    The OP apparently wasn't able to tell the difference until 2/3rds of the way through the session. How much of a problem could it have been?

    I remember a thread some time ago where a lady was asking if it was okay to bring something to do during other people's turns in combat (or other similar downtime), such as bringing her knitting or something.

    The response, as I recall, was that it was totally fine as long as she was on-deck and ready when her turn came up.

    But apparently a dude with an MMO and a chick with her knitting are inherently different.

    Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

    Jiggy wrote:
    andreww wrote:
    I wouldn't accept it at my table. It is disrespectful to the GM and to the other players. If you are sat at the table you are there to play. If you aren't interested in playing then don't take up the seat which could have gone to someone who was interested. I feel much the same about people who spend a lot of time texting or IM'ing during the game.

    What if he is? What if he's the most attentive and engaged person at the table despite his multitasking?

    Though I'm not great at multitasking myself, there are plenty of folks who could easily be doing 1d3 other things while still being fully engaged in the game at hand; I've even met people who will be MORE engaged in the game at hand BECAUSE they have a second thing going on. My own mother, for example, is so scatterbrained that if you try to focus her on one task, she'll wander in minutes. But if you focus her on TWO tasks, that second task siphons away enough "excess attention" that she can stay on-target with the main thing you wanted her to do in the first place instead of thinking of some random other thing and wandering off to do that. I have literally run a D&D session with her while she was simultaneously playing a board game with other family members, and it was the longest I've ever seen her stay in one place.

    So all these assumptions I'm seeing that someone playing an MMO is clearly "not interested" and so forth are pretty ill-advised and, well, assumptive.

    It's not a problem until it's a problem, and the fact that it's an MMO doesn't change that.

    Jiggy, I feel like I've given you solid information about how MMOs operate. Other posters here have done the same. You admittedly don't have much experience with them. Personally, I don't know how a session would go if someone was playing an MMO during it. But based off my experience with MMOs I think I have a pretty good idea of what would happen, and that's where I base my assumptions from. You're basing yours without the knowledge of how MMOs really operate.

    So you're going to have to either trust us when we tell you that they're very difficult to just step away from or you're going to have to try them out yourself. Otherwise you don't have much of a leg to stand on when you yourself make assumptions about how they would impact a game.

    Obviously, there is no singular "right" answer for this because every situation is different. However, myself and the other posters are trying to provide the general "best" answer we can. And that answer is that MMOs have no place at a PFS table. I think you're fighting an uphill (and strange) battle if you try to convince us otherwise. And I don't think you'll be able to convince us until you actually experience the medium.

    Yes, there are folks that focus better when multitasking. I know because I am one of them. I couldn't study or write when I was in school without watching TV. I learned metaphysics while watching Battlestar Galactica. What I don't do is watch Netflix while I play Pathfinder, or start playing a video game in the middle of the game. This is because it's not only distracting for me, but it's distracting for everyone else. And even if I could multitask, I have no guarantee that everyone else could. Also, I think it's a bit rude to your GM (more on that later).

    Lastly, several posters have mentioned that they find playing a video game while playing PFS to be disrespectful to the GM. You can place me in that camp as well. I think that it's quite lame for a player to sit down at a table, pull out a laptop, and start playing a game. It would tell me, as a GM, that this player isn't really interested in anything I have to say and that they've made the conscious decision not to focus on the session. I can see how GMs could get very upset over this, as others have said, but I would just be sad. I'd be sad that someone had made an assumption that my table was boring enough that they'd be able to "do both." I want my table to be so engaging that people don't want to do anything else.

    Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

    Jiggy wrote:


    I remember a thread some time ago where a lady was asking if it was okay to bring something to do during other people's turns in combat (or other similar downtime), such as bringing her knitting or something.

    The response, as I recall, was that it was totally fine as long as she was on-deck and ready when her turn came up.

    But apparently a dude with an MMO and a chick with her knitting are inherently different.

    This is the thread that mentioned knitting at a table. I don't recall another one.

    The difference between the two is that you don't need to look at your hands to knit, knitting doesn't require any real thought—it's a repetitive movement of your hands, and knitting isn't going to cause other players to constantly look over and see what you're doing. You can also stop knitting anytime you need to.

    There's a lot of differences, but I'd argue that knitting is far less distracting at a table than playing a video game.

    Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    EDIT: Ninja'd.

    Walter Sheppard wrote:

    Jiggy, I feel like I've given you solid information about how MMOs operate. Other posters here have done the same. You admittedly don't have much experience with them. Personally, I don't know how a session would go if someone was playing an MMO during it. But based off my experience with MMOs I think I have a pretty good idea of what would happen, and that's where I base my assumptions from. You're basing yours without the knowledge of how MMOs really operate.

    So you're going to have to either trust us when we tell you that they're very difficult to just step away from or you're going to have to try them out yourself. Otherwise you don't have much of a leg to stand on when you yourself make assumptions about how they would impact a game.

    Obviously, there is no singular "right" answer for this because every situation is different. However, myself and the other posters are trying to provide the general "best" answer we can. And that answer is that MMOs have no place at a PFS table. I think you're fighting an uphill (and strange) battle if you try to convince us otherwise. And I don't think you'll be able to convince us until you actually experience the medium.

    It's true that I don't have enough data to speculate on how consistently MMOs would or would not disrupt the table.

    What I do have, however, is a data point that the OP's player was not disruptive, because nobody even realized it until most of the way through the game.

    Which is more assumptive:
    "MMOs have XYZ qualities, so I speculate they would be disruptive."
    vs
    "We have an observed instance of an MMO being non-disruptive."

    The former is a very reasonable speculation, but still a speculation. The latter is an observation of fact. All it takes is one instance of X happening without Y happening to factually prove that X can happen without leading to Y. We have an instance of an MMO being virtually unnoticeable, let alone disruptive. Therefore, it is proven that MMOs are not inherently disruptive.

    I'm now challenging a collective assumption that is contradicted by that fact. Your speculation is strong and well-reasoned, but must now carry a caveat of "potentially" (or some such), because a fact has ruled out "necessarily".

    Quote:
    Yes, there are folks that focus better when multitasking. I know because I am one of them. I couldn't study or write when I was in school without watching TV. I learned metaphysics while watching Battlestar Galactica. What I don't do is watch Netflix while I play Pathfinder, or start playing a video game in the middle of the game. This is because it's not only distracting for me, but it's distracting for everyone else.

    Again, the OP: it makes sense to speculate that it would distract everyone else, but apparently it's at least possible for that to not be the case.

    Quote:

    Lastly, several posters have mentioned that they find playing a video game while playing PFS to be disrespectful to the GM. You can place me in that camp as well. I think that it's quite lame for a player to sit down at a table, pull out a laptop, and start playing a game. It would tell me, as a GM, that this player isn't really interested in anything I have to say and that they've made the conscious decision not to focus on the session. I can see how GMs could get very upset over this, as others have said, but I would just be sad. I'd be sad that someone had made an assumption that my table was boring enough that they'd be able to "do both." I want my table to be so engaging that people don't want to do anything else.

    Now, this I totally respect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a GM having feelings, and those feelings being affected by player behavior (even if it's non-disruptive). Completely legit. I have no challenges against this part; only a curiosity: why are GMs not similarly offended by non-MMO activities? In a later post I mentioned a past thread where a lady was asking about bringing knitting (or something like that). Shouldn't that have been equally offensive? Why the disparity? This is an honest curiosity, with no challenges attached.

    Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

    Jiggy wrote:
    Now, this I totally respect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a GM having feelings, and those feelings being affected by player behavior (even if it's non-disruptive). Completely legit. I have no challenges against this part; only a curiosity: why are GMs not similarly offended by non-MMO activities? In a later post I mentioned a past thread where a lady was asking about bringing knitting (or something like that). Shouldn't that have been equally offensive? Why the disparity? This is an honest curiosity, with no challenges attached.

    Well, first of all the lady with the knitting needles actually asked ahead of time if it would be okay, and in so doing, showed both concern and respect for her fellow players and the GM. The guy playing the MMO obviously did not ask ahead of time and thus either assumed it was okay or didn't care if it was okay. In this case, it is as much HOW it was done as it was WHAT was done.

    In the end what really matters is how the multitasking you are engaged in while playing PFS interferes with your, or other peoples, ability to play and have fun. And a lot of that has to do with how much of your attention the activity requires. My oldest daughter can nit at almost a subconscious level while she is watching TV and carrying on a conversation. She can't do all that while playing Skyrim.

    Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

    Fair points about speculation versus observation of fact, Jiggy. However, if we really wanted to use the OP as an observation of fact, we'd need more than one example. A singular event is not statistically significant.

    You say that it proves that MMOs are not inherently disruptive, but I disagree. I think there's some extrapolation on your part that leads to that conclusion. I can look at the OP and reach entirely different conclusions based off of the post.

    I imagine that when the GM found out 2/3rd of the way through the game it became very disruptive for the table. It likely influenced every interaction the GM had with that player for the rest of the game. It also doesn't prove that the player's attention wasn't split, or that other players were distracted when it became know what the player was doing.

    Until we have a greater sample size and more information, all we can do is speculate. Unfortunately, I don't want a greater sample size because I don't want to hear of more instances where people played MMOs at PFS tables.


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    Most people don't multitask nearly as well as they think they do.

    -j

    Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

    Jiggy wrote:

    It's true that I don't have enough data to speculate on how consistently MMOs would or would not disrupt the table.

    What I do have, however, is a data point that the OP's player was not disruptive, because nobody even realized it until most of the way through the game.

    The OP reads more like a hypothetical query than a question based on a real life event to me, but I could be wrong.

    Even so, I can easily imagine a situation where a GM assumes the reason a player is contributing nothing except the odd grunt and dice roll while their head is buried in their laptop is that they're shy and have a need to constantly reference their PDFs/HeroLab (I've certainly seen the paper equivalent, where a player spends the session shuffling through the pages of their character sheet with a rulebook open on the table to make sure they have the rules straight, only speaking occasionally, just because that's the type of person they are).

    Playing the MMO might not be disrupting the rest of the table, but it's certainly disrupting the player's contribution to the shared gaming experience. I believe that it's part of the unwritten social contract of a gaming group that the focus should be on the RPG session, simply out of respect for the GM and the other players.


    Basic rule I have the table: NO ELECTRONICS - PHONES, iPODS, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, AND SO ON. If you feel the need to have it at the table, I politely but firmly kick you out.

    Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

    Gendo wrote:
    Basic rule I have the table: NO ELECTRONICS - PHONES, iPODS, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, AND SO ON. If you feel the need to have it at the table, I politely but firmly kick you out.

    Do you realise you've stumbled into the Pathfinder Society section of the boards? PDFs on electronic devices are specifically called out as an acceptable rules source for players or GMs.

    I have my phone on the game table when I'm GMing, so I can refer to one of the offline PRD apps for quick rules questions or to make sure I'm using a spell correctly; it's quicker than flipping to the right page of the CRB.

    Also, 'NO ELECTRONICS' - people who wear digital watches are out of luck then?

    Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    Paz wrote:
    Jiggy wrote:

    It's true that I don't have enough data to speculate on how consistently MMOs would or would not disrupt the table.

    What I do have, however, is a data point that the OP's player was not disruptive, because nobody even realized it until most of the way through the game.

    The OP reads more like a hypothetical query than a question based on a real life event to me, but I could be wrong.

    If that's the case, then you can disregard every conclusion and supposition I've made that's based on how I read it. :)

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