5 signs you’ve been gaming too long

by manylaughs on July 28, 2012

So it seems some gamers are dying for their passion. As you might have heard a Taiwanese gamer died after playing Diablo III for 40 hours straight. Sitting for too long can lead to blood clots, it seems.

40 hours? And you thought you were hardcore. Hah!

But to be fair, every gamer knows it’s easy to lose yourself in a game and lose track of time. You tell yourself you do just one more level, one more dungeon and then you’ll go to bed. You’re in the middle of a raid and you’re coming up on the boss. You’ve got to play for at least another hour, right? Sunshine be damned. Yep, it’s always one more level, one more dungeon, isn’t it?

Maybe you look away from the screen for a few seconds, maybe you see the clock and maybe you discover it’s 4 am! And you have to be at work in 3 hours!

That’s not good, kemosabe, not good at all. After all, you have to stay employed so you can pay for your MMO subscription and broadband. Everything else, except for Skittles, is just a luxury.

So how do you tell you’ve had enough? How do you know when it’s time to take a break? Here are five signs you’ve been gaming too long:

1. It’s light outside… Again!

Nothing wrong with gaming during the day, and sure it’s okay to game on a nice day. Yeah, that’s okay, too. So you started as soon as you got home from work. You had a raid with your guild. The sun set. You decided to level your alt for a bit. It got dark out there. You hopped back on your main and worked on your crafting. That was some sweet armor you made, wasn’t it? Spent a lot of time gathering mats for that, didn’t you? Then you decided to do another dungeon run. Hmm. It looks kind of gray outside.

That’s odd. Wasn’t it dark a little while ago? Oh, my freakin’ god!

If you started playing when it was light outside and it got dark and it got light, again, take a break and go greet the dawn, you dope. At least you’ll get a little sunshine.

2. Your fingers hurt.

Do your fingers hurt? Do your shoulders ache? Have you lost all circulation to your butt?

When your buttcheeks go numb that’s a bad sign. Back away from the keyboard. Stand up. Take a break. Get a hand massage, and a shoulder massage, and… Well, that’s between you and your significant other, but it’s time to take a break.

3. All your snack food is gone.

It’s a proven fact – you can’t game without snack food. Every decent gamer starts the night with an ample supply of snack food readily at hand. What no more M&Ms? Are you out of Red Bull? Dude, you went through an entire bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos?!

Time for a break. Or better yet, a trip to store for more gaming fuel.

4. You forget your real life name.

Are you beginning to think your name really is Hrothgar? After all, isn’t that what everyone calls you. Hey, you don’t role play – Well, at least not overtly – but everyone in Vent calls each other by their character names, so naturally you might start thinking that’s who you are, right?

After playing for 4 or 5 or 6 hours, you might forget you have a real life name. Has anyone ever called in the middle of a long gaming session and asked for you? Was there just a second, a long second, before you recognized your name.

Congratulations. You’ve officially been in-game too long. Way too long. Your name isn’t Hrothgar or Drizzt or Gimli or Morrigan or Eowyn or Isolde. They’re all fine names, glorious names, but yours is probably Tom or Dave or Sharon or Jessica. All lame, boring names, but they’re the ones you’re stuck with.

When you start to forget your real life name, it’s really time to take a break.

5. The neighbors alert the health department.

What’s that smell? Is that kitty litter? But you don’t own a cat. Maybe it’s dog pee. But you don’t own a dog either. What is that awful smell? Ewww. Is that you?

If the neighbors call the health department, complaining about the stink, stench, and stank emanating from your home it’s time to take a break. Clean up a little. Brush your teeth. Go take a shower. Reacquaint yourself with soap.

If none of these potential warning signs have cropped up for you, yet, well, you still have some good gaming to do, don’t you. Get back to it!

(The article has been adapted from a more European form my former editor put it in when it was originally published with his edits at mmogames.com on July 20th, 2010.)

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