When A Game Takes Your Sleep (Or Just Displaces It)


This is our husky, Cloud. As you can see, he has zero trouble sleeping. This is the countenance of a dog who worries about very little.

I love that.

Lately, I’ve been hammering away at my playthrough of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’m over 150 hours in, and I’m not even in the last act (there are three acts, total). In an effort to “bring it home,” I’ve been marathoning sessions of 12+ hours at a time. The past two nights, I’ve literally stayed up all night long playing. Yesterday I stopped playing around noon (yes, after playing all night), and today, I stopped around 8am.

I am a witching beast.

The only problem with this is getting anything done or feeling remotely like a responsible adult human being the following (the same?) day. Today, after I finally fell asleep, I woke up at 5pm, hungry and in need of a shower.

I’m adulting wrong.

But this game.

If I’m not playing it, I’m thinking about it. If I’m not doing either, I’m probably in one of the four solid hours of sleep I’ve been getting per day (and yes, I mean actually sleeping during the day when other adults are out there doing responsible things). I tell myself I will go to bed at a reasonable time, but I end up getting carried away and playing for so many more hours than I intended.

Certain games have done this to me in the past. BioShock grabbed my brain and said, “You will play me until I am finished!” And I said, “Yes, BioShock. I will.” I played it like crazy, and when I wasn’t playing, I wanted to be playing. Sleep and food were optional.

The most extreme cases of Game vs. Sleep have been for Borderlands. Something about Borderlands just grabs me. I play it and play it and play it, and if I’m not playing it, I want to be playing more of it. I will sacrifice sleep, food, whatever just to play it. I’ve never been able to quite pinpoint why I love it so much, but I do and there it is. When I first played it with my partner, we stayed up many a night to the wee hours of the morning running, gunning, looting, and laughing.

Boy do I love that game.

But with The Witcher, it’s such an odd juxtaposition: I am both in love with the game as well as impatient for it to be over.

It’s a curious feeling.

This morning when I finally turned the game off, I just sat there on the couch staring at the menu screen of my PS4 and wondered, “What am I doing? I need to sleep.”

And I continued to just stare at the screen while trying to get tired.

I love when an experience is so engaging that it becomes almost a liability. I know that sounds odd, but that’s one of the times when I know a game has hit its mark. Sure there are flaws, but I love this game. I love the experience. I love what it offers.

It just offers so much of it.

And with that, I will think about going to bed at a reasonable hour (so I can be up early), when, in reality, I know I will be witching all night long. Again.

Send help, friends. I’ll be in Skellige.

P.S. Here’s a snout-hance of our pup. Behold: the curled tongue.


8 replies »

    • If Cloud started gaming…I might never get the system to myself. We’d have to start him on a Super Nintendo or something.

      Believe me, I could use that tag for a plethora of things, too. Pretty much everything, actually. I’m the worst.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are indeed in serious trouble my friend! What a great feeling though to have this deep need to play! I know: teach the dog to bring you your food: more time to play!


    • I am! It’s almost like I’m living in an alternate time zone.

      Also, I’m pretty sure if I taught Cloud to bring me food, it would result in him just getting food for himself. Which might be interesting. And dangerous.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I love when an experience is so engaging that it almost becomes a liability”. Maybe this explains some of my silly decisions in the past. That quote gave me insight in an amusing way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually almost deleted it, but I realized it was true, so I left it in. My interest in the game has definitely become a bit of a liability (to my sleep and overall health), but it hasn’t stopped me from playing it all night long anyway.

      And I can relate…

      Liked by 1 person

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