"I started playing Describe Just One More Level Here, as soon as you beat that boss... Just one more level after that... Now just beat this boss... You just want to fiddle about with the new weapon the boss dropped... Crap, is the sun coming up already?
Peggle around noon, and emerged from my room sometime later to find that the authorities had declared me legally dead."
Basically this is when people stay up way later than you should because they're having so much fun with a game. After all, most games aren't designed to be over quickly, so they encourage long play sessions if the player is interested enough.
Now while this can be an occasional thing, this can be caused by being addicted to a game, and in fiction often is a form of Compressed Vice
Some games deal with this by Anti-Poop Socking
. Some encourage it by restricting saving
or, in the worst cases, pausing
Compare Ear Worm
(the music equivalent), Crack Is Cheaper
(the hobby equivalent), TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life
(the equivalent for This Very Wiki
), Archive Binge
, Browser Narcotic
, Wiki Walk
Not to be confused with The Tetris Effect
(which is an effect of this trope, not the trope itself).
Now even though this is Truth in Television, examples are limited to In-Universe, since all but the shortest games can do this in Real Life. There's no point to listing a game that merely can do this.
Also examples are about games only, not other media websites or books.
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- In "The Reality Bug (Pendragon #4)" the world is slowly crumbling because most of the citizens are residing in an alternate-world fantasy game, and dying off in the game, one by one.
- The game was basically intended to cause this—it lets people live out their fantasies while eliminating needs like food and drink.
- Chandler in Friends spends an episode addicted to Ms. Pacman, to the point where he can no longer move his hand.
- Gordo from Lizzie McGuire becomes addicted to Dwarflord, a Bland-Name Product fantasy game with, from what we see, elements of Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer, causing his friends to administer amateur therapy on him to cure him.
- An episode of Psych has Shawn's father discovering Crackdown. Cue them returning the next day or so, and the father hasn't slept and has to be prompted to stop, and even threatens Shawn when he tries to take the console away.
Shawn's Dad: ...it lets you feel like a cop, without all the guilt after you shoot someone.
- In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Penny gets addicted to Age of Conan. At one point Leonard asks why she's not at work, and she says she doesn't work on Mondays. He then points out that it's Thursday. She finally says "Okay, I need to stop" when she gets hit on by Howard in-game and actually responds positively.
- In the penultimate episode of Angel, Spike leaves Illyria guarding Drogyn and offers them Crash Bandicoot (1996) to pass the time. This leads to:
Illyria: "I play this game. It's pointless, and annoys me. Yet I am compelled to play on."
- In an episode of Star Trek TNG, a woman shows Riker a small video game which gives the user a direct endorphin rush when they complete a level. Riker plays it, quickly becomes addicted, and spreads it to rest of the TNG crew.
- Frasier: Niles becomes addicted to his nephew's videogame, though it's because he can't beat the tutorial level.
- In the comic strip FoxTrot, Jason's video game obsession transfers to his mother who plays for days and days before realizing she has a problem/is getting cut off.
- One series of strips had Andy getting addicted to Nintendogs; when she finally returns Jason's DS, he (rightly) guesses that it's only because the battery died.
- One Get Fuzzy strip had Rob come into work looking like crap after spending the whole night playing Star Wars Battlefront II.
Video Games (must be referenced by the game in some way)
- The Civilization series lampshades this trope. The advertisement surrounding Civ 4 use the phrase "one more turn" as a Madness Mantra, including starting a fake site for Civilization-holics called "No More Turns". When you reach the "end of history" (win or lose), the options given to you are "End game" and "Just...one...more...turn!"
- Civ 4 also included, in the options menu, an alarm, that you could set to go off at a set time or after a certain number of
minutes hours had elapsed. How effective it is is doubtful, but bless them for trying.
- Civilization's sci-fi brother, Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri, is just as bad, complete with the options after you've beaten the game consisting of "Good, I'm done, now go away!" and "C'mon, lemme play a couple more turns!" And if you try to quit, you hear the immortal plea: "Please don't go. The drones need you. They look up to you." This game's acronym is SMAC for a reason.
- A few more turns wouldn't hurt, would it?
- Also shows up in Elemental - War of Magic which despite some growing pains shortly after launch still proved itself to be ridiculously addictive.
- Lampshaded In Stronghold, If you play for hours (or days, or weeks, or months...) The Scribe says things such as "How about a snack, sire?" "You haven't slept for days sire!" "It's getting late, sire, Aren't you tired?"
- Dungeon Keeper displays messages to the user reminding them to take a break. Unlike some of the other examples listed, these are based on the system's internal clock instead of play duration.
- Disgaea: Hour of Darkness spoofs this once Laharl becomes overlord.
...do you want me to give human kids an addictive video game that will deprive them of their sleep?
- Disgaea 3 gives a trophy for leaving the game on long enough.
- Tales of Vesperia has an Achievement which you earn by having a save file over 100+ hours long.
- Tales of Graces: There are three titles you get from your overall playtime. One notes that if the party knew how long you've been playing they'd tell you to take a break.
- Part of the backstory of strategy game This Means War! is a somewhat post-apocalyptic setting caused by a dangerously addictive videogame that players were so hooked on that they neglected their duties (for instance, maintaining nuclear power plants) to keep playing.
- The developer of Desktop Tower Defense has admitted to tweaking the game to encourage more play. He regularly gets emails from people asking to "please ban me from the game, I can't stop playing".
- Sins of a Solar Empire is advertised on the box as something like "all the 'just one more turn' addictiveness of a TBS like Civ, but with no turns so you never know when to stop!"
- Referenced in LittleBigPlanet 2, where playing after 9 PM earns you the "Just... One... More... Go..." trophy.
- The Sims addressed this in the first game's strategy guide, when referring to "Winning the Game". Don't be absurd. This is a Maxis game! What's to win? You and your sims can play unto perpetuity, getting into entanglements and trying to get out, and by the time you know it, it will be 3am your time, and you don't even have your teeth brushed...
- Snood has a "Just One More Game" option that automatically closes the program on your computer after your next attempt, but not before a pop up window says, "You said one more game. Snood will now quit. But no one will know if you start again". Evil!!
- There is a shirt on the Minecraft Store that says "Just One More Block" four times in a row!
- Lampshaded in Dungeons Of Dredmor, where it asks if you try to quit: "Just one more game wouldn't hurt, would it?"
- Lampshaded and inverted on the menu screen of Aoi Shiro, where, depending on the time and day of the week your computer is set to, the character will tell you to go do your homework first, your house chores, go to school, or even to go to sleep.
- World of Warcraft has a few loading screen tips discussing this:
Remember to take all things in moderation (even World of Warcraft!)
Bring your friends to Azeroth, but don't forget to go outside Azeroth with them as well.
- The confirmation prompt for exiting A Valley Without Wind has buttons labeled "No" and "Yeah, I should probably eat or sleep or something."
- The citizens of Brainville make comments concerning the lateness of the hour and your need for sleep if you play past a certain time of night.
- A loading screen tip in Baldur's Gate II reminds the player that (s)he needs to eat once in a while:
While your character does not have to eat, please remember that you do. We don't want to lose any dedicated players.
- There is an upgrade in Cookie Clicker with a FlavorText that outright asks "You've been up all night, haven't you?", unlocked by clicking on 77 golden cookies, which are on a (slightly variable) timer. A simultaneously-unlocked achievement says "You should really go to bed". The minimum time between golden cookies is five minutes without spawn-rate upgrades, which are mercifully unlocked at 7 and 27 cookies, otherwise getting to that number would take over six hours even with the best of luck.
- This strip of Fanboys shows this effect when Sylvia plays The Legend of Zelda games for the first time.
- In Bobwhite, Marlene receives a video game as a present from Cleo. She doesn't even like video games, but she decides to try it out for five minutes. 72 hours later, she's completed the game, and she vows to get her revenge by giving Cleo the complete filmography of Akira Kurosawa, hoping to induce Cleo to go on an Archive Binge.
- SMBC Theatre gives us The MMO. A playable version is here.
- That's scarily similar to a flash game on Kongregate called anti-idler. One of the minigames is to click a button to get rewards.
- Sluggy Freelance has a plot line where 'Years of Yarncraft' completely consumes the attention of most of the main characters for dangerously long periods, getting in the way of eating, sleeping, and other such minor pursuits.
- In one year of Penny Arcade's "The Annual 'We're Right' Awards", they gave Final Fantasy Tactics Advance the "Just One More Turn Wow Is It Really 4 AM?" Award.
- They have quite a few strips about this subject, such as the time Gabe is introduced to Mine Craft, or how he had to quit World of Warcraft because it was "a job that was fucking killing me!"
- Summed up neatly in How To Play Tetris◊ by the gentleman who brought us Sequential Art. Also given a nod in the last panel of How to Play Team Fortress 2◊, where the titular Team Fortress 2 ultimately takes its toll on the player's sleep cycle, dietary intake, and various unsavory bodily functions.
- In El Goonish Shive, Grace gets addicted to Black & White and has to be dragged away from the computer.
- Yahtzee noted this in his review of Peggle.
- Using the appropriate song "Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer)".
- He has also noted that he kept playing so much of the first Modern Warfare that he forgot to eat, and when he tried to play 'a bit of the next mission' in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, he couldn't resist playing three entire missions before he could make himself stop.
- The Wiiviewer noted this in his review of Harvest Moon.
- Akinator, according to his backstory, is addicted to the Twenty Questions game, hence why the website was created.
- Cracked compared the estrategy in New Super Mario Bros. Wii like "potato chips" as that the levels are so small, that it doesn't take much convicing to get another one.
- Button's Adventures: Button stays up all night playing a game, becoming partially delirious in the morning to the point of speaking in Word Salad.
- In the pilot episode of GEOWeasel, Nar is addicted to video games, going to a handheld game when the power goes out and eventually going out in severe weather to get batteries.
- South Park did this twice:
- This happened once to Lisa Simpson ó she wasn't prepared for playing with a Crash Bandicoot Captain Ersatz for whole week. She started playing when she was sick and didn't have anything else to do, but by the time she recovered she was hooked.
- This happened to Hank in an episode of King of the Hill when he plays a GTA-esque game called "Pro-Pain". It's actually based on his life, being made by a couple of nerds.
- During an episode of Brandy and Mr Whiskers, Brandy tried to keep Mr. Whiskers from pestering her by giving him a handheld game to keep his mind busy. He got so into it, that he was even worse than before.
- A similar thing happened on Mike, Lu & Og episode "A Boy's Game", with Og getting addicted to a Bamboo Technology Game Boy that he made himself, even so far as to keep playing it even while a hurricane was destroying the island.
- Doug wins a videogame system from a store, and then spending the next few days playing games while not doing his homework and nearly being late for school.
- Nintendo actually had a T-shirt printed with the phrase. Repeated dozens of times.
- KISS frontman Paul Stanley got addicted to Super Mario Bros. on the Hot in the Shade tour, as revealed in a tour video from Revenge.
Paul: When I first learned this damn game, it's like a drug, right? The sun's coming up, everyone else is in their bunks snoring, and I'm like "Just one more game!"
- How about a coffee?