Can’t put down your smartphone? Next time you go out for a meal with friends, it’ll cost you.
Hey, look! It’s an Internet meme designed to get people off the Internet! Wait, what?
It’s called the Phone Stack Game—when you’re out at a restaurant, put down your smartphones and talk to your friends. The first one to pick up his or her phone picks up the check.
The inventor of the game is Brian Perez, known on Tumblr and YouTube as Lil B. He first came to fame last month with his Shit Asian Girls Say video, which to date has received over 2,177,900 views (and thankfully hit before that meme officially died).
A week ago, Perez posted his new video, titled “Don’t Be a Di*k During Meals With Friends.” Trending Now discovered it right away and declared it—perhaps prematurely—a “craze.” Eater, the restaurant blog, announced that “phone stacking is now a thing.”
The video has only gotten 20,000 views, so it may be early yet, but the Daily Dot is ready to sign on to this viral video-ignited mission to get people to put down their phones at meals.
The two-and-a-half-minute video starts with four friends having a conversation around the dinner table about how rarely they see each other.
Within 30 seconds, they’re all on their phones, looking up sports scores and checking their party in on Facebook. The frustration on Perez’s face grows until, after a minute lapses, he can’t take it anymore.
“Has this ever happened to you?” he asks, holding the shaft of a golf club as a microphone. “You’re out with your friends, or you’re on a date, or your out with your family for a meal, and the person in front of you or around you just won’t get off their phone? If this is happened to you, I have a game to introduce.”
Perez posted the rules to the game in a post on his Tumblr page, which has received 64,452 notes since going up January 1:
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.
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.
The game has already amassed a massive following on Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr from friends and diners who are starting to notice how silly they look at the table.
“What an excellent idea,” declared Stephen Fry, a British actor with 3.7 million Twitter followers.
“This actually sounds like a lot of fun,” tweeted @aaronbassett. “Will I suffer? Of course! But I think my friends will be hurting just as bad ;)”
“Love the idea behind the game phone stack,” posted @jonwinstanley. “Should [be] compulsory.”
“This is pretty smart,” YouTube user sorasice posted in a comment on Perez’s video. “I get so sad and lonely when my friends would rather be on their phones instead of actually talking to one another.”
The attention the game has received shocked even Perez.
“It’s incredible how much this fun little idea of mine took off as much as it has over the course of these past 12 days,” he posted on his Tumblr page after seeing a story on Yahoo about the video.
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