Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

It's also important to be able to control your bodily functions. You never know when a long demo is about to begin, so make sure you're prepared to sit in front of the monitor for a long time if necessary. If you're feeling drowsy, you should get some sleep.

Master Miller, Metal Gear Solid

"Poopsocking" is the supposed activity of a gamer so focused on playing he would rather defecate in a sock than risk a bathroom break from the action. Another version describes the stereotypical gamer as drinking a lot of soda, and using said cans in a related way. Others call it catassing, where the player becomes so engrossed in playing they forget basic chores, such as cleaning the cat's litter box, for so long that the stench wafts through their entire house.

Media Watchdogs complain poopsocking is not healthy. For at least once in their life, they're absolutely right. Plus, from a pure gameplay perspective, it encourages players to level quickly and disrupt the ability flow of the gaming population. So occasionally, a game has a built-in function to reward the player for taking a break from the game. In online games with monthly fees, this also works from a business standpoint, because the company doesn't care how much you play, or even if you play at all, only that you keep paying for your account.

There is some reality to the dangers of poopsocking. There are documented cases of people who literally play themselves to death, mostly by playing so long that they ignore basic needs like food and water. Some other cases have even resulted in the deaths of babies because their parents were too preoccupied with poopsocking to care for them.

Of course there are people who respond to this by playing more than one such game, gaining the "you took a break" benefits of one by playing the other. Some people will not be helped.

However, such games can end up being even more addictive because players will have to come back often to get their "fix," and it's harder to burn out and drop the game. In fact, this is actually the reason some games implement the features—ad-driven ones in particular. It happens that repetition is key in the ad industry, so ad companies will pay more to own somebody's eyeballs one hour a day, 7 days a week than they would for a single eight hour marathon.

This is much rarer in one-time-purchase games, where one can prevent this by building a game where it's easy to sit down and enjoy a session lasting only a few minutes to an hour.

This is essentially a way to try to stop Just One More Level. See also Hikikomori. The antithesis to Bladder of Steel, in which pausing to get some fresh air is forbidden. Also contrast Guilt Based Gaming. Related to, but not the same as Anti-Grinding.

Examples of Anti-Poopsocking include:

General Consoles

  • The Game Boy Player - basically a Game Boy Advance that uses a Gamecube and a TV as its input/output - had a special timer feature, settable up to 99 minutes. It was never really explained why it's there: it can't be a parental control, since the timer doesn't stop the game, and can be turned off at any time from the menu without even a password. So, it seems like a voluntary APS.
  • Many games for the infamous Virtual Boy have an "Automatic Pause" feature, which pauses the game after 15 straight minutes of play, though this is mainly due to the Virtual Boy having the potential to easily cause headaches and eye damage. Indeed, Nintendo refused to license games that did not have this feature.
  • The Nintendo 3DS has Play Coins, which can only be obtained by walking around - though you can do so while playing if you really want to. More importantly, there's the Street Pass function which collects data from people nearby - but mostly only if you have the system closed, not while playing.
  • The 3DS also has periodic messages about taking a rest after about an hour's worth of play in 3D mode. Some games (such as Star Fox 64) will display the message even when 3D mode is turned off.

Action Adventure

  • While The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker doesn't have a time-based reminder notice, one of Sturgeon's notes advises you not to stay up all night playing video games.
  • Expect Navi to complain she's tired in Ocarina of Time 3D during long play sessions. She'll ask you if you feel the same, and suggest taking a break.
  • A Link Between Worlds has this in two forms: The various bird statues will squawk and chirp repeatedly after a certain amount of time and will recommend you to take a break when you go to save, then there's the witch Irene who you can summon to take you places, if you summon her after playing for a certain amount of time, she'll comment on how tired you look and the like.

Action Games

  • Battlefield 2142 gives an 'away bonus' in extra points to this effect.
  • In the PlayStation video game adaptation of the film Independence Day, you are tasked with flying a fighter plane through various stages. The final level takes place onboard the alien mothership, and it is equal parts frustrating and difficult. After you beat the game, a message at the end of the credits tells you to "go outside and get some sunlight". Real useful advice, that.
  • A rather subtle one in Space Quest V, among the lethal tests made to test the resilience of a certain organism:

"Placing a petri dish of the bacteria behind a computer monitor for a period of hours will expose it to hard radiation conditions similar to those on an unhabitable class D planet.Later, we will repeat the procedure using a safer type of radiation, such as a Gamma ray source ".

Long story short, computer monitors are more hazardous than gamma rays.
  • The game Eat Lead: the Return of Matt Hazard (which is basically just a parody of action games) has some silly trophies/achievements. One of them is an achievement called Take Five acquired by pausing the game.
  • Before an update to Team Fortress 2, the game's Random Item Drop system was tied so closely with playtime that, statistically, the best way to guarantee that items would drop at all was to load the game, join one of the numerous "Idling" servers, and ignore the game for hours on end. With the updates, playing more than about 10 hours a week doesn't give you any more items, but in compensation the drop rate was increased and, later, the in-game Mann Co. store was added.
  • After you beat the video game adaption of the first Spider-Man movie, Spidey will tell you to "go outside and play." Despite this, it's still a good game.

Adventure Games

  • Similar to the Metal Gear Solid example is the ending of The Secret of Monkey Island. After the credits have run, a message appears, reading: "Now turn off your computer and go to sleep."
  • Free web-based adventure game Legends of Zork also uses Action Points, which regenerate at the rate of 20 a day; with a cap of 90. Items that grant additional Action Points can be purchased at the premium shop; and purchased action points can exceed the cap. However, there are restrictions on the number and frequency of use of these items, so there is still an effective limit to daily play time.
  • Improbable Island has a Stamina gauge that runs out as you do things such as fight monsters and travel. Once it goes below 60% you start taking penalties to attack and defense, if it gets below 30% every encounter has a chance of you collapsing from exhaustion, which sends you to the Failboat, where you'll most likely have to wait for or use a New Day to get back in the game. However, Game Days have a cycle of about 4 hours. So it won't be too long before you can play again, and if you're logged off long enough, you can "Save" New Days for use later.
  • Flower will give you a trophy for waiting ten minutes between levels, and another for going for a week without playing.

Educational Games

  • On one screen in Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, the Narrator might say the player has done enough for today, telling them to relax, turn off the computer, and go get some fresh air.
  • Slime Forest Adventure encourages good study habits by limiting your health refills if you play too long, and taking your gold if you wait too long between games.

Fighting Games

  • If you play Dissidia Final Fantasy for too many days in a row, the Moogles will stop sending you letters until you take a break.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee keeps track of how many rounds have been played, displaying messages at milestones such as 100, 1000, etc. The message for 50,000 rounds is "You've played 50,000 VS. bouts! Enough! Take a break!" whilst the 100,000 rounds notice is "You've played 100,000 VS. mode matches! Go outside!"


  • World of Warcraft rewards time logged out with a short period of increased XP after you log back in. A loading screen tip reads, "Take all things in moderation, even World of Warcraft." In addition, raid dungeons can only be done once every few days by a given group.
    • Another loading screen tip reads "Bring your friends to Azeroth, but don't forget to go outside Azeroth with them as well."
    • In China, the system is much harsher, with players receiving half normal experience points and gold after 3 consecutive hours of play, and no experience points, gold, or quest rewards after 5 consecutive hours of play. These features, by the way, have been specifically required by the Chinese government.
      • Probably to break up the infamous "WoW sweatshops" that grind for in-game items to sell Western gamers.
    • The first expansion introduced Daily Quests, of which a maximum of 25 can be completed per day (it takes about an hour to complete 25, if you know what you're doing). Heroic Dungeons were also introduced, offering a higher Risk vs. Reward, offset by players only able to complete each dungeon once per day. While these limits take a long time to take effect, it prevents players from grinding specific items or gold quite effectively.
    • The South Park Affectionate Parody of World of Warcraft ("Make Love, Not Warcraft") has one of the most effective poopsocking satires ever.
    • Finally, Item Crafting has an Anti-Poopsocking element of its own: specific item crafts have a real time recharge time between one and four days. As these items can be traded, they are usually in high demand and serve as a good source of income even if you aren't making much use of your professions otherwise.
    • It is worth mentioning that most of these limitations are not to prevent poopsocking; rather, it's to make sure that the subscription dollars keep pouring in. In fact, its the variety and number of different parts of the game that actually encourages playing an excessive number of hours - just not on one part.
  • Guild Wars helpfully warns the player every hour just how long they have been playing. After two hours, it suggests taking a break.
    • Maple Story does the same thing, with an added "We suggest you take a break from mapling" after the third and subsequent hours.
      • It counts the hours client has been on; If someone else comes and plays it without closing the client, counter won't reset. Also, if the client crashes the counter will reset and before windowed mode was added, going to check a guide could shut the client down.
  • La Tale has only a discreet little message in the game's launcher: "Too much game play can be bad for your health."
  • Kingdom of Loathing has a daily limit to the number of adventures each player can have in a day. Though you can eat food or drink booze to increase the limit, eventually the player simply runs out of things they can do that day.[1]
  • The free MMORPG Urban Dead has a maximum cap of 50 Action Points per character that regenerate at the rate of 1 AP every half-hour. There's also a max of 160 IP hits from a certain address per day, although you can donate $5 to get this lifted for one character. Of course, this only stops in-game poopsocking—metagaming on the numerous forums devoted to the game and its gaming groups can consume far more time than actually playing the game.
    • Many competitive browser games do this, for obvious reasons.
  • The MMORPG Yohoho Puzzle Pirates reminds you to take a break to stretch and such every now and then. On the other hand, its system of decrementing lifespan of items and badges based on how many different days you've been online for and not total time spent connected to the game runs contrary to this.
  • Another MMORPG, Cabal Online rewards you with Bonus EXP range when you quit the game. Experience gained in this range is doubled. The longer you left your character untouched, the longer the Bonus EXP range will grow.
  • The browser based MMO Tribal Wars does this by making it so that even the simplest of tasks will take an hour, during which time you are supposed to go do something else while waiting. Some things can take a lot longer.
  • In the MMORPG Eternal Lands, you're only allowed to get a certain amount of Harvesting EXP for each in-game day. (6 hours real time). You still can harvest though, so it's only effective in one way.
  • Issue 13 of City of Heroes introduced "Day Jobs", which give players bonuses when their characters are logged out.
    • Those logged-out time stats apply to characters individually and also builds up patrol XP, which allows you to gain 1.5 times the normal amount of XP per kill until it runs out, so really what it does is encourage people to rotate their characters.
  • The MMORPG Atlantica Online features a "Stamina Gauge" which decreases by 1 every time you enter a battle; while you have stamina, experience gains are tripled and item drops are doubled (which is a roundabout way of saying that once the gauge hits zero, experience is reduced to a third and item drops are cut in half). The stamina gauge is reset to 100 every morning at 6:00 AM, plus a small amount of rollover stamina depending on your level.
  • According to the manual for Fusion Fall, the Nano Com is its own Anti-Poopsocking indicator. Its efficiency determines the rate at which you acquire Fusion Matter and Taros (money) - the longer you play straight, the further the efficiency cramps, and once it hits zero, you stop getting both. Word of advice: if the stored Fusion Matter stops glowing for some reason, take it as a not-so-subtle hint to log off.
  • Failed implementation in Final Fantasy XI. There is a clickthrough screen while logging in with a short message about playing too long, ending with "Don't forget your family, your friends, your school, or your work." Ignored by most if not all players, who click through it immediately.
  • Mabinogi somewhat subverts this by simultaneously encouraging and discouraging poopsocking; both in small ways; mainly through the aging/rebirthing mechanic. Characters age in real time, at the rate of 1 year per real-time week, and gain stats and ability points (for levelling skills) for each in-game year. Depending on the particular character build and skillset, there are benefits and drawbacks to both extended grinding sessions (levels and skill training), and extended breaks.
  • In Vindictus players earn "ability points" by completing missions; which are used to advance skill levels. Each time a mission is completed, the number of ability points awarded is reduced; discouraging extended grinding. There is a skill aquired early on, Meditation, that enables players to gain ability points over time, whether they're logged in or not; encouraging players to spend extended time away from the game. (It start out granting 1 point every real-time hour; with the rate going up as the skill is levelled.)
    • Along with this, certain parts of the mainstream storyline quests, as well as a few side quests, require the character to wait until the next real-time day to aquire the necessary item/information to proceed with the quest.
  • Gaia Online rewards you with golds for posting. Your first post of the day gets you a whopping 75 gold. However, it only registers as the first post of the day if you've spent at least ten consecutive hours logged out of Gaia Online.
  • Champions Online has one of its 'tips' during loading screens as a reminder that socializing on an MMO can be fun - but so can socializing face to face. It also reminds gamers to get up, stretch, and go outside and get some sunshine and fresh air.
  • RuneScape automatically logs you out if you've been logged in for six hours straight; however, you can log back in immediately so it's more lip service to this than anything actually useful. Now, if it temp-banned you for five minutes...
  • Wakfu only lets you sell the wares in your haven bag to curious passers-by while you are in it yourself or logged out while inside it.
  • Elsword uses a stamina gauge that starts at 100% and depletes as you run dungeons. Once it hits 0%, you can no longer run dungeons for XP until the stamina resets at 3 AM Pacific Time, however you can still do anything else in the game, including PvP
  • Spiral Knights uses an "energy" system, which you spend on crafting, or on delving deeper into dungeons. You automatically get an allotment of 100 units of "mist energy" which will automatically recharge slowly, or you can buy (either with real-world money, or with in-game money at exchange rates that vary daily ala the stock market; this second is fortunate, as beyond a certain point crafting takes over 100 energy for each transaction) "crystal energy", of which you can have up to 9999, but doesn't recharge; when you use it, you have to buy more. Even though the rate at which you recover mist energy speeds up while you're offline, it still takes about a day to get back up to 100 if you blow your whole wad in one go.
  • In addition to the now fairly standard Rested EXP system, Tera forces mid-session breaks with its Stamina system. Every character has a stamina gauge, normally ranging from 0 to 120%. When Stamina's high, you get extra Max HP and MP. When it's low, you actually lose max HP and MP, as well as your combat effectiveness diminishing in other ways. You lose stamina as you fight (faster in instances) and death or mission failure also come with a stamina penalty. Besides some very rare potions, stamina can only be increased by waiting near temporary campfires or permanent bonfires, requiring the player to take a break from questing or grinding every so often if they actually want to remain effective at it. It also reminds you for every hour of play. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the mention of government mandates on this below, it's from South Korea.
  • Battlestar Galactica Online has several factors that do this:
    • A gift of several items for logging in daily.
    • Sidequests, called "Assignments", only refresh once a day, so you cannot build a backlog first and then go back to clear it when you have a long stretch of free time.
    • Merits, a currency type available only through PVP or specific PVE encounters, have a cap on how many you can earn a day.


  • Eversion has something like this in the form of random messages that replace the "READY!" prompt in later stages, such as "STOP" and "GIVE UP" (as well as occasionally having the regular "READY!", which then has "TO DIE" flash underneath), but their purpose is not encouraging the player to take breaks so much as it is to scare the player out of continuing the game, not unlike Metal Gear Solid 2.
  • In the sequel to the original Sly Cooper game, the absolute end of the credits congratulates you on your victory before quite plainly telling you to "go outside."
  • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, if you play for a long time or die several times in the same level, you'll notice that Lubba has an exclamation point above his head once you return to the Hub Level. Talk to him, and he will tell you "Gee, you've been through a lot lately, Captain. Maybe it's time to take a break?" He'll tell you something similar if you get a Game Over.
    • Similarly, Super Mario 3D Land will also suggest that you take a break after playing for awhile.
  • Freakyforms does it in two ways: the Nintendo standard "let's take a break" message after playing for a while, and the Formee Hearts. You start with five hearts, and you use one every time you make a new creature- if you run out, you can't make any more until they regenerate, which takes time. While you can still go ahead and play the exploration and scenery creation parts of the game, accessing new areas of the map requires you to make more creatures and thus wait for hearts to regenerate.
  • The developers of The Caverns of Hammerfest like to use a system which only lets you do one playthrough of their games per day, while also allowing you to buy more 'game tokens' if you crave so much for more. However, this becomes obslete and the trope is averted after, once you can get past 80 levels, your runs start to last about an hour. And you cannot take breaks once it's started.


  • Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver come with the Pokéwalker, a device that can hold a Pokémon and rewards you with experience points equal to the amount of steps you take. You can also catch wild Pokémon and find items after taking enough steps.
    • Professor Oak will also call you and tell you to go to sleep if you stay up too late. This gets very irritating if you happen to work night shift, or are otherwise nocturnal.
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded has certain floor challenges (usually in the last floor of a sector) that require you to "play at day" or "play at night"...and since you can't save and set your DS clock to the desired time, the only thing to do is close the DS, take a nap, and resume playing later/the day after. Consider that doing all the floor challenges without missing one is pretty much the only way to obtain certain chips and Finishers...
  • EarthBound will have your dad call your receiver phone and suggest you go outside if you've been playing for a particularly lengthy time.
    • ...which is odd since you can get this call before you get the phone. Whoops.
    • Mother 3 does this too, with Leder's bell as the reminder. It takes quite a while to trigger, though, and is more to keep you from going too far without saving your game.
    • Incidentally, EarthBound could retroactively be the Trope Namer - a billboard in Threed tells you not to play for more than two hours at a time, and it's said to be from the "Parents Opposing Obsession Plan"...
    • Then there's the password required to enter Master Belch's Factory, which requires your character to stand still for 3 minutes and not press anything.
  • One of the loading screen tips in Baldur's Gate II reads, "While your character doesn't need to eat, remember that you do. We don't want to lose any dedicated players."
    • Parodied in NWN which has a loading screen that reads "While your character doesn't need to eat, monsters do. They eat player characters" or words to that effect
    • Although if you play the Baldur's Gate series in windowed mode, and try to leave by hitting the exit button, a dialog box pops up, saying "Are you sure you want to quit? Boo will miss you..."
  • The World Ends With You has an anti-poop-socking function: pins, your means of attacking, can earn three different kinds of experience, one of which can only be gained by leaving your DS off for a while. So because some pins will evolve into new and fancy kinds of pins only if the majority of the experience they've gained is of one of those three kinds, if you want to get every kind of pin, you have to leave your game off for significant periods of time.
    • Although this is a problem for gamers who typically leave their DS in sleep mode rather than actually turn it off when they sleep or go to school/work. Thankfully, this can be manipulated by adjusting the DS' internal clock.
  • The browser-based psuedo-MMORPG Dragon Quest limits how many "Quests," or actions, you could take in one day.
  • Fable II tracks the income from rent in real time: If you bought some stores and houses, and don't play for a few days you'll have a nice pile of cash waiting for you. This is one of the best ways to earn money.
  • The flash RPG Battle Stations uses Action Points, which regenerate hourly to a maximum of 500.
  • In Boktai and Boktai 2, your assorted Solar Equipment would overheat if used in direct sunlight for too long, rendering it useless and requiring you to play in the shade for a while if you wanted to keep going. But if you played for too long, you would automatically overheat regardless of how close you were to overheating by normal means. Reaching the point where you went into permanent overheat took a while, but even if you overheated normally, there was no point in trying to go on-instead of having a set waiting period before you could use the gun normally again, it merely counted down the invisible meter it used to track the heat, much slower than it heated up in the first place. It liked to toy with you too-it wouldn't make you wait until the gun had completely cooled off, it would just wait for a certain threshold, so that after a rather absurd wait, you'd nearly kill a Bok and the gun would overheat again.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, there is a specific part late in the game that REQUIRES you to stop playing for several minutes, waiting until "Toadworth's alarm rings" while the bros. stimulate Bowser's back. It's essentially an unskippable cutscene...that doesn't really have any action.
    • A Toad in the shop area actually tells you a button combination that you can input during the scene to skip the whole process, but it's worth a break anyways.
  • Dragon Quest IX has a minor example. Throughout the world, there are blue treasure chests containing somewhat sweet swag, as well as all sorts of dressers, cupboards, and pots in people's homes containing the odd bit of alchemy material. Saving and exiting the game allows these to be refilled with new items for you to plunder. This may have been unintentional, however, since the game doesn't track how much time it takes you to start the game back up.
  • In the roguelike Elona, if you are worshiping a god and have an item with the "It catches signals from god." attribute equipped you will occasionally see random comments from the god you're worshipping, including them voicing concern if you've played for an extended period of time. Notably, if you've been playing for twenty-four hours straight and are worshiping Ehekatl you'll receive a signal from her begging you not to die.
  • "Rogue Galaxy" has some examples, the biggest one being Kisala, who after a long bout of playing will begin breaking the Fourth Wall about how long you've been playing, how long it's been since you've saved, etc. etc. That is... if she's in your party.
  • In the Web Game, Adventure Kingdom, there's a limit of 100 Stamina with 1 Stamina regenerating every five minutes. Every adventure requires a certain amount of stamina to be paid so it limits how long one can play. Though, it can mitigated by buying gems
  • Getting the director's ending in Chrono Trigger will have some of the staff tell you that since you got the most difficult ending, you should probably go outside. One of them will eloquently tell you to get a life.

Simulation Games

  • In Black and White the divine advisors will pop on if it's late at night, saying things such as that even gods should sleep from time to time.
  • While not likely to be poop-socked, Animal Crossing has real-time based shop opening and closing times - that is to say that Tom Nook's store will close at 8PM (Wii) or 11PM (DS) and not open till the next. This is especially annoying if you are somewhat older than the "intended" child demographic.
    • The opening times depend on what building Nook is using. The convenience store building, Nook-N-Go is open from 7:00 AM to 1:00 AM, while the largest store, Nookington's is open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. However, the only game that gives you direct control over which building Nook has is City Folk; on the other games, Nook will always use the largest building available.
    • After midnight, animals often tell the player that it is really late. In Animal Crossing: Wild World, the cute ones state that cool kids go to sleep early.
    • Inverted in the original, where you can try to catch Wisp the Ghost between midnight and 3AM, which will initiate a minigame. Win and the ghost will reward the player by removing weeds from the town, painting the player's house's roof, or even award the player with rare furniture.
  • In Pilotwings Resort, your instructor advices you to take a break after about an hour of playtime.
    • Same thing happens in Nintendogs + Cats

Sports Games

  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games has a box that pops up after playing for some time, advising you to take a break.
    • The Wii has made wearing out the player a viable Anti-Poopsocking strategy. Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, for example, requires a good deal more physical activity than some real world sports.
  • Wii Sports periodically encourages players to take a break by pausing the game. While most of the games aren't tiring, the boxing game can wear you out if you keep playing without stopping.
    • And by periodically we mean almost every time you change minigames.
    • Wii Fit also recommends periodical breaks. A good thing, since some games can be very tiring.
    • So does Kinect Adventures on Xbox 360.

Stealth-Based Games

  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear on the MSX, Big Boss starts giving the player suspiciously misleading information in the second half of the game. When Snake is about to reach the room where Metal Gear is held, Big Boss will personally call you and order you to turn off your MSX/ PS2/ Cellphone.
    • One of Master Miller's fantastic No Fourth Wall lectures in Metal Gear Solid was about staying mentally alert by taking breaks.
    • During a portion of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty the player receives messages from a character, most of which are fourth wall-breaking nonsense. In one of them, the player is told that they have been playing the game for a very long time (regardless of time playing) and asked to turn the console off.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater:
      • When you stop playing for a while, Snake rests and recovers some health and stamina. Unfortunately, most food he has may rot depending on how long you leave the game off.
      • During the boss fight with The End a reversal occurs: The player is advised not to save, due to a "bad feeling". If you save and come back 3 days later, the boss sneaks up and captures Snake; unless you leave the game off for a week, in which case The End dies of old age.
      • An Anti-Poopsocking Easter Egg occurs after Snake has been jailed and tortured. If you save, Para-Medic relates to Snake a passage from Dracula, to which Snake surprisingly reacts in fear. Reset the system and load up the file and rather than seeing the normal screen, you'll open on a Hack N' Slash game called "Guy Savage", where you eviscerate monsters with cane weapons. After a set amount of time, Snake wakes up and calls Para-Medic to berate her for her "Pillow Talk".
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots continues this trend. At the end of each act a loading screen comes up with notes like "Use an ashtray when smoking" and "You've been playing for so long, why not take a break?". The game can also read the console's clock to remind you that "It's pretty late".
    • In Metal Gear Online, the game makes a very simple count of how long you have been playing. Play an hour it will make the news alert noise and display your hour. It's simple, but it suggests that you rest in order to make sure you can preform better online.

Strategy Games

  • When playing Dungeon Keeper 2 at night, you'll start getting messages like "Your nocturnal perseverance has earned you a hidden gaming tip: GO TO BED!"
    • "Surely, even Dungeon Keepers must retire to a lair of some description."
    • "You know that low, broad, downy-soft item of furniture in the next room? It has the power to cure fatigue and restore vitality."
    • "Oh? Are you still there? The imps were about to lock up."
  • Anno 1404 voices its concern for you by having in-game notifications come up telling you that you've been playing for several hours straight, and should probably take a break.
    • "How about a coffee?"; "Four hours at a stretch, it's too bad there's no medal we can award you."; "Six hours non-stop! My throat is getting dry from all this talking".
    • Same with 2070, only with voiceovers from EVE.
  • Civilization IV has a built-in alarm that can be set by the player to go off after a certain amount of time.
    • And there's an option to have a clock displayed on the screen, which is handy when you're playing in full-screen mode so that the clock on your computer's desktop is obscured.
    • In a way, the turn-based nature of the game serves as a kind of anti-poop socking measure in itself: if you get up and go to the bathroom, fix dinner, watch TV, etc., the game will still be there for you exactly as you left it.
    • And their "Civaholics Anonymous" campaign made fun of it too, with one of the fake testimonials featuring a former "addict" talking about how he didn't get up for three days. The interviewer confirms that he didn't go to the bathroom for three days, he responds that he said he didn't get up.
  • In the Stronghold RTS series your in-game adviser will make comments depending on how long you have been playing. "How about a snack my liege?" "You have been playing for a very long time." "Aren't you tired, sir?"
  • The TBS Battle for Wesnoth has an in-game clock, presumably for this reason.


  • In Wario Ware DIY, if you spend enough time on one of the Maker Matics and save, it says "How about taking a break?"
  • V Tech Learning Time Cuckoo Clock (aka My First Clock in the UK): All save for three games on the toy gets disabled between 7PM through 8AM, in an effort to coax the owner to go to bed. And in case you're wondering, the thing has and uses a RTC.
  • After being on for a while, the Xbox 360's Kinect will pop up a message that says "Feeling tired or sore? Take a break". Fitting advice, as those games can wear you down quickly.
  • Enforced by government in South Korea.
  • In Swapnote on 3DS, sending more than one note in a row will prompt a message telling you to rest if you start to get tired.

Non-Video Game Examples


  • After the end credits of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ferris says directly to the audience: "You're still here? It's over! Go home!"

Live-Action TV

  • In one CSI: Miami episode, the team tracks down a gamer who may have witnessed a crime, only to find that the gamer had died at his computer due to sleep deprivation and overdoses of energy drinks.
    • CSI did it too, with the guy having worn a diaper so he wouldn't have to leave the game...but this time the guy was murdered via a drug overdose.
  • There was a great Nickelodeon ident that ran during the summer showed a crisp summer day at the pool. It read something like "Go ahead, go outside, we'll be here when you get back."
  • On an episode of iCarly, Spencer becomes addicted to playing on an old Pak-Rat arcade machine. He was also pee tube-attached-to-cupping.
  • Doctor Phil featured a Basement Dweller who would pee in a water bottle instead of leaving the couch. Dr. Phil joked that he probably used the cat's litter box to poop too.

Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • Demetri Martin once joked about wanting to make a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle which, when completed, forms the message "GO OUTSIDE."

Web Comics

Ohforf: But do we stop for dinner, at least?
Sir Bob: Nah, just buy pizza and keep it warm by sitting on it.
Ohforf: Hmm... So we can only leave for toilet breaks?
Sir Bob: Toilet what?!? Ha! Not on a raid, don't be stupid.

Frank: They're like drug dealers who hand out a running tally of how many mortgage payments you've blown on crack since you got hooked.

Web Original

Western Animation


  • The LeechBlock add-on for Firefox lets users establish their own Anti Poop Socking for websites.
    • There's a reason this addon exists...
    • There is also MeeTimer, which has no relation to Miis whatsoever.

Real Life

  • On a more universal note, the need for sleep in Real Life forces humans and most other animals to "log out" periodically, lest they suffer debilitating status effects.

  1. It's acceptable to have many alts however, as long as they don't help each other, so the real addicts can keep on keeping on.