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Anti-Poop Socking
"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 that 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 the cans in a related way. Another term for it is 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 that 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. In fact, subscribers that play less often are actually more profitable, since they don't use up as much of the company's bandwidth.

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. Such cases, while heavily publicised to show how evil computer games are, are in fact very rare (which is why they get so much attention when they do happen).

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:

    open/close all folders 

    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, possibly to avoid arguments over whose "turn" it is in households with young players.
  • 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. 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 Play Coins are also limited to 10 coins a day to be earned, which is most likely to encourage players to take a break from all the walking they did. Then again, considering that 1000 steps, which is the amount required for a maximum of 10 coins, is barely a 10-minute walk, you'd think they would've either eliminated the limit or increased it one way or another. That, plus considering the rate at which some of the games consume those coins, most people who want to play said games that require a lot of them to play for any extended perioid of time and don't have a consistent source of StreetPass hits which is usually the preferable alternative have to resort to shaking the system to get enough coins and change dates perioidically until they have enough.
  • 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.
  • The Wii tracks how much time the Wii has been played today, which gives parents information to enforce anti-poop socking.

    Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • 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.
    • There two examples of this in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. First are the weather vane statues, which recommend taking a break if you save at them after playing for a while. Second is Irene, who will note that you look tired and ought to take a break.

    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 ".
  • 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. Another update to the drop system in 2013 required the player to both play on a Valve Anti-Cheat secured server as well as acknowledge receipt of a new item by clicking on a pop-up window before the system would allow another item to drop, which seems to have finally killed the notion of unattended idling.
  • A rare instance for an online game, Left 4 Dead and its sequel let you pause and return to the game at any time: when you're away, a bot will take control of your character so that it does not hinder the team.
  • 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.
  • As a forced variation of this, the The Angry Video Game Nerd made fun of the fact that there is no pause function in one of the early Ghostbusters games.
    It's like tough shit if you wanna take a shit, you gotta do turbo-turds!
  • In Planetside 2, for every two hours you don't log in with a character, they generate Certs, which are the game's non-premium currency. However, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from simply logging in with another character and playing with them while the other's bank Cert for you.
    • Also, the first five badges of the day give you extra experience. Additional badges will still yield some experience, but the big rewards will have to wait for an another day.

    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."
    • The sequel, Monkey Island 2 had the same thing, but every few seconds the text would refresh with a new suggestion for something for you to do. Watching them all takes an hour or so.
    • The fourth game did nearly the same thing, only with a fake error message telling players to get back to work. The developers eventually 'fixed' this in a patch, since the player was there to play, not to work.
  • 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.
    • The saved day system also notably avoids the issues of such a system by making it so that you don't have to log in ever 4 hours to get the max adventures for each day.
  • Flower will give you a trophy for waiting ten minutes between levels, and another for going for a week without playing.

    Augmented Reality 
  • In Ingress, after hacking a portal four times in a short period, it "burns out" and you have to wait four hours to be able to hack it again. The Multi-Hack mod can be installed on the portal to allow additional hacks, but the four-hour burnout still applies.

    Educational 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!"

    Idle Games 

    MMORPG 
  • World of Warcraft
    • The game 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.
    • 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 latest expansion removed this restriction. It is now possible, in principle, to do all the daily quests in the game in one day. However, some of the rewards are effectively worthless past a certain point (a common reward is a token that you really can't use more than 60 of in a week), and points to purchase gear that still have weekly earning caps.
    • Item Crafting has an Anti-Poop Socking 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.
  • Guild Wars helpfully warns the player every hour just how long they have been playing. After two hours, it suggests taking a break.
  • Until recently, MapleStory also warned the player every hour, with an added "We suggest you take a break from Mapling" after the third and subsequent hours. It counted the hours client has been on; if someone else came and played it without closing the client, the counter wouldn't reset. Also, if the client crashed the counter would reset, and before windowed mode was added, going to check a guide could shut the client down.
    • As of recently, however, this message has been removed, and players are instead being offered EXP rewards for staying logged in for a certain amount of time. What caused this paradigm shift is unknown.
  • 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. note 
  • 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.
  • Done unusually in Ether Saga Odysseys dungeons. If you are at the recommended level of a dungeon, you can take as many maps as you want from Mapkeeper Ming to go into it (they dissapear at midnight). However, if you are past the recommended level, you are only given 3 maps a day for that dungeon.
    • Played straight with level 90+ dungeons, as you are given only 1-10 maps a day for that dungeon.
  • 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 FusionFall, the Nano Com is its own Anti-Poop Socking 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 larger amount of 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.
    • Gaia's MMO, zOMG!, severely nerfs gold rewards for the day after you've earned 30,000 gold in the game. Either donate money to the site, or wait until tomorrow. (this is also because people would farm large amounts of gold in zOMG! and break the economy with it)
  • 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.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, logging out of the game in a bar, on your ship, or several other areas will give you a "Rested" bonus when you return, giving you an increase in experience for as long as the Rested state lasts. The longer you stayed logged out, the longer the bonus.
  • Everquest II uses a vitality count. Vitality gives a double experience bonus while it lasts, and every kill/craft takes some of it. Vitality rebuilds slowly over time whether logged in or not so it's not a strict limiter, but it does discourage endless gaming by slowing progress once vitality runs out.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has a rested EXP bonus for players that log out of the game in a sanctuary or a town's inn. The longer they "rest" (stay logged off) in the area, the bigger the bonus will be next time they log in up to a certain point. All EXP gained from the rest bonus gets a percentage multiplier, which is very handy if you need to level up from a new class from level 1.
    • In addition, the guildleve system grants you a certain number of "allowances". You get one allowance every hour, and if you run out, you can't begin another levequest until you have one. Since most levequests can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes, you can run out very quickly if you're grinding, but since you can gain them while not playing, you can burn through them quickly and gain them back in your downtime.
  • The Last Stand: Dead Zone: Besides the waiting times for missions, if the player decides to take a long break and then return, the game will reward the player by making the next mission give double the experience.

    Platformers 
  • 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 Sly 2: Band Of Thieves, 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.
  • In the console versions of The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie, after completing the game and watching the ending cutscene, you get a closing statement from the show's narrator Tom Kenny, who tells you to "go outside and get some sun, you look awful pale".

    RPG 
  • 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.
    • A related function is the sort of Pokéwalker counterpart for Pokémon Black and White, the Dream World. You can only enter the Dream World for an hour a day, and there are limits to how much you can do in one session- when visiting other players' Dream World homes you can only water 20 of their berries, you can only make 5 Dream Pal requests, and after enough trips to the Island of Dreams you won't see any more Pokémon or items. However, the actual reason for the hour-a-day limit is so the Global Link's servers don't run out of bandwidth.
    • The Dream Radar tie-in app for Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 regenerates Dream Clouds at a rate of roughly one every five minutes. The more Clouds there are when you start scanning for them, the more Dream Orbs they release when you shoot them, so it's more profitable to wait and let Clouds gather instead of going after them as soon as they pop up. Professor Burnet will also occasionally remind you to take a break after a scanning session.
  • 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."
  • Persona3's Updated Re-release for the PSP made the dungeon emergency exits more frequent so if you had to turn the PSP off, or something else, you could freely leave the dungeon, save, quit, and come back.
    • Subverted in Persona 3 & Persona 3:FES
    • Also, Fuuka will occasionally ask the player if they aren't tired, even if the player has only been in Tartarus for 5 minutes. Fuuka actually asks you this depending on the time of day. Playing at night will have her asking you this every 15 muntes or so.
  • 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.
      • Helpfully, non-battle pin experience is also weighted, by something like a 25:1 ratio. It took a relatively small amount of shutdown PP in order to cause a pin evolve along the shutdown PP track.
  • 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 with the console's internal clock: 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. Unfortunately, you can just disconnect your console from the internet, manually put the clock forward and get the same effect.
    • The very same feature also causes the Money for Nothing problem the game has.
      • Fable III changed this mechanic to have rent income to be gained every 5 minutes of real time. You only receive rent while actually playing the game.
  • 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.
  • Nethack has it, sort of: The game makes use of the actual local time and lunar phases. Depending on your situations, the game could become a lot harder at night because it will throw more creatures of the night at you. On the other hand, if it's a full moon, it increases your luck.
  • 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. 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.
  • Marvel Avengers Alliance has energy, 10 of which is required per battle. It regenerates at a rate of 1 every 6 minutes, or 1 hour for the next battle. Though it is possible to buy more with premium currency, or be gifted packs of 2 energy apiece by your allies up to a daily gift limit.
  • In-universe example in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory. While the CPUs are basically goddesses that seem to subsist entirely on snacks, Vert takes it to the next level. Her reaction to her aide leaving is to go on a (planned) 10-day MMORPG bender, because since there's nobody to tell her when to stop, she won't. Even Neptune thinks that's overdoing it.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star will remind you to take a rest before you get tired, if you finish a level and it's late at night.
  • Bravely Default's Bravely Second feature uses Sleep Points, and one way to get them is to leave the 3DS in sleep mode.

    Simulation Games 
  • In Black & 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 New Leaf, every few conversations with your villagers, they will suggest you take a break every once in a while and rest if you've been going at it for a long time.
      • Also, New Leaf subverts the initial problem of closing times by allowing you to make a town ordinance that shifts the open hours of stores either earlier or later based on which is more convenient for you.
  • In Pilotwings Resort, your instructor advices you to take a break after about an hour of playtime.

    Sports Games 
  • Mario and 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-Poop Socking strategy. WarioWare: 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/ PlayStation/ Cellphone.
    • One of Master Miller's fantastic No Fourth Wall lectures in Metal Gear Solid was about staying mentally alert by taking breaks.
    • As the player nears the end of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, their support staff starts calling them near-constantly to tell them random things, most of which are fourth wall-breaking nonsense. In a pair of them, the player is ordered to turn the game off, told that "it's just a game". Immediately after, they call the player again to tell them that they've been playing for a long time (regardless of how long you've actually played), wondering "don't you have anything else to do with your time?"
    • 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 in less than a week, The End sneaks up on and captures Snake; if you leave the game off for more than a week, Snake finds that The End has died 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". If you play for long enough it will get more insistent and dramatic. "It's now after 2 am, take a break for your own health!"
    • 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 perform 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?"
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, if you visit the barracks late at night, your allies will tell you to stop fighting and go to bed. Groups of enemies and travelling merchants will also appear on the map if you leave the game for a few hours, giving you access to more XP, more funds, and better equipment. Lastly, Anna will sometimes appear on your bottom screen after completing a chapter, reminding you to take a break every once in a while.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yuri VN Akai Ito and its sort-of sequel Aoi Shiro reads system clock when they're started, and give cutesy, fitting welcome-back message such as "Good morning", "Good afternoon", or "It's a nice weekend, isn't it?". If you boot it in 3 o'clock in the morning, the message is something along the line "who on earth reads VN during such hours?". And sometimes the wondering-aloud is voiced by the respective (male) Big Bad. And before you wonder, no, they're not the kind of game people don't want to be caught playing.
  • In Hate Plus, your ship has only enough power to process a certain number of log files in a single game day. Once your power is near-empty, the day ends and you have to wait for the next day...in real time. Specifically, the next day will unlock in 12 hours.

    Other 
  • In WarioWare 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.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, after a while the message "Don't forget to take a break now and then" will pop up. It's justified in that there's a real chance of getting hand cramps, due to the control scheme.
  • The recently translated Japanese iOS game Puzzle and Dragons has 'stamina' which automatically depletes with each dungeon you enter, whether or not you actually complete it. When you don't have any more stamina, you cannot play any more dungeons and you must wait for your stamina to replenish, which takes several hours. The tougher the dungeon, the more stamina is needed to enter it (though your max stamina raises slightly with each level).
  • Intentional or not, Candy Crush Saga has it so the player only has 5-8 lives. Whenever those lives run out, the player has to wait 2.5-4 hours until their lives fill up (30 minutes per life). Unless if they "cheat", this may be a way to prevent Just One More Level.
  • In DOTA 2, if you have the Bastion Announcer Pack equipped and have played a few games (around 3-4), you will hear Rucks say lines like this. Play during the night (usually at late hours) and he'll chastise you for that.
  • The Xbox 360 version of Deathsmiles rewarded the player with points and an achievement for pausing the game. However, you could just go straight back in game so it probably wasn't very effective.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • 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: Crime Scene Investigation 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.
  • The LeechBlock add-on for Firefox lets users establish their own Anti Poop Socking for websites.
  • There was a great Nickelodeon ident that ran during the summer and showed a crisp summer day at the pool. It read something like "Go ahead, go outside, we'll be here when you get back."
    • In fact, Nickelodeon usually used that bumper before one of their no-longer-in-production shows like The Ren & Stimpy Show and Rocko's Modern Life as an attempt to lower the ratings on those shows, which must have worked, unfortunately.
    • Nickelodeon also sponsors the "Worldwide Day of Play", which goes on from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. All of the Nick networks leave a small bumper exhorting kids to go outside and play during this time.
  • The World of Warcraft South Park episode.
  • Demetri Martin once joked about wanting to make a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle which, when completed, forms the message "GO OUTSIDE."
  • 1000 Ways to Die has a cautionary tale in the form of way to die #126: Game Stopped. The subject of this story played a video game tournament for 60 straight hours, using an empty bottle and a special "bucket chair" for his bathroom needs. He wound up dying as a result of a deep vein thrombosis causing a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in his legs from sitting for so long getting stuck in his lungs).
  • In Sluggy Freelance Torg inadvertently adds this feature to a MMORPG when he founds a group of Player Killers so ruthless and organized that people just give up playing rather than deal with them.
  • After the end credits of Ferris Buellers Day Off, Ferris says directly to the audience: "You're still here? It's over! Go home!"
  • 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.
  • Here in +EV (related to online poker).
    • Since multitable tournaments usually last for several hours, most online poker rooms have introduced synchronized breaks 5 minutes before every full hour.
  • 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.
    • And incase you're wondering "What could the effects be?". Well... depending on the hours or days, you are awake it's usally headaches, blurred vision, hallucinations, or worse. It's even possible to die from sleep deprivation, although rare.
  • Dr. 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.
  • A Femmegasm strip parodying both My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse features Pestilence, who uses a catheter and water tank so she doesn't have to get up from the computer.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Special Edition does this, overlapping with You Bastard. When Docfuture mistreats Tails in the game, Tails responds by twisting the game's Hint Mode to mock Docfuture. One of his pieces of advice is, "Protip — Why don't you go out and meet some girls instead of staying shut in all day?"
  • In-Universe example in Cyberpunk 2020: During the opening salvoes of the Fourth Corporate War (two Megacorporations slug it out big time, pulling much of the world's smaller companies and thereby economies with them in the process), legendary hacker Rache Bartmoss lies in his specially constructed life-preserver hidden as a kitchen freezer. Due to chronic malnourishment and being in cyberspace 24/7, his body finally flatlines while his brain manages to keep on going. Unfortunately, Rache is so paranoid that he didn't tell anyone where he was hiding, and in the end a Mega Corp. tracks down his apartment and vaporizes it with an orbital mass-driver.
  • There are stories about slot players at casinos who will wear Depends so that they don't have to leave the slot machines even for bathroom breaks. There are even people who would forgo (or overflow) the Depends, choosing instead to simply soil themselves at the slot machineand then ask the cocktail waitress to go get them a new pair of pants.
    • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation twice referenced the 1980 MGM Grand fire, where dead bodies were found fused to the slots - refusing to leave even as the building burned down around them. Possibly Urban Legend (most of the deaths in the fire were of smoke inhalation in the main hotel upstairs), but...
  • If you keep watching a single series on Netflix for too long it will ask you if you're still watching.


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