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Anti Poop-Socking

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"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 when a gamer is so engrossed in their game, they won't stop playing for any reason, even to go to the bathroom — so they'll poop in a sock. It's not the only manifestation of this kind of behavior (a common variant is a gamer who drinks a lot of soda and then pees in the cans, and the term "catassing" derives from a player whose house stinks because they've neglected basic chores like cleaning their cat's litter box), but the principle is the same — a gamer plays so long that it starts negatively affecting their quality of life. Therefore, Anti Poop-Socking is when a game has a built-in function that rewards the player for taking a break from the game... or at least encourages them to.

There are several reasons for a game to want the player to take a break. One of the biggest is that not doing this leads to bad publicity. There are real dangers to poopsocking; it's clearly not healthy to be playing video games for that long, or to surround yourself in your own waste products. The media will usually bring out the rarest and most horrifying cases, like players who literally play themselves to death because they neglected basic needs like food and water, babies who died because their parents were too preoccupied with playing video games to care for them, or players who have allowed their own messes to turn into literal piles of garbage; games which are commonly associated with this sort of thing might implement anti-poopsocking measures to disassociate themselves from these extremes. Games with a particular risk of eyestrain after long sessions (often using 3D effects, like the Virtual Boy) may implement anti-poopsocking for this reason as well.

But there are also practical reasons to do this. From a pure gameplay perspective, it discourages players from Level Grinding too quickly and disrupting the ability flow of the gaming population. Furthermore, long video game sessions can lead to burnout, and burned out gamers are less likely to pick the game back up again, so by encouraging gamers to take a break every now and then, games end up becoming even more addicting.

And one of the biggest motivators is money. Online games have limited bandwidth, and so game companies prefer less frequent players, especially if they pay monthly subscription fees (and thus would pay the same as a hardcore gamer, so no loss there). Ad-driven games want to prevent burnout because repetition is key in advertising; companies get more value out of a gamer who sits through several short gaming sessions than one who plays a single marathon session. And in the case of more exploitative developers, this means that you can hide "energy refills" behind a paywall.

There's one big hole in the anti-poopsocking mechanism: there's nothing preventing a gamer from playing multiple games, staggering them so that they're playing one game while racking up the anti-poopsocking elements of the others. Some people will not be helped. Of course, this is all even truer in the many cases where the poopsock-preventative procedure in question amounts to little more than a suggestion on the game's part - oftentimes a friendly reminder to take a break delivered through some manner of character dialogue.

See also Just One More Level! (the phenomenon that leads to poopsocking), Hikikomori (the kind of people who would poopsock), and Anti-Grinding (a related phenomenon that tries to prevent gamers from Level Grinding and can have incidental anti-poopsocking rewards as well). Contrast Bladder of Steel (when you can't take a break even if you want to) and Guilt-Based Gaming (where the game tries to guilt you into not taking a break). And compare and contrast Play Every Day (you get rewarded for taking a break, but also for picking right back up the next day).


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    General Platforms 
  • 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.
    • It's also useful as a timer, in the case that you are playing for a bit but need to do something after a bit of time. Every gamer knows that time is bendable and speeds up when you're gaming.
  • 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 StreetPass 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 earned per day, 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 period 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 periodically 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 3DS' camera app will advise you to take a break if you keep it open for 10 minutes.
  • The Wii tracks how much time the system has been in use per day and which games were played, which gives parents information to enforce anti-poop socking.
  • Some arcade games have a "shop close" setting, which prevents new players from starting a game after a specified time. Usually, the shop close time is close to the arcade's closing time, as a way of preventing players from attempting to start games very close to the end of the arcade's business hours, as that is comparable to a diner customer trying to get seated right as the kitchen's about to close.

    Action Adventure 

    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.
  • One Nuclear Throne Loading Screen tip reminds you to take a 15-minute break for every hour you play.
  • A rather subtle one in Space Quest V: The Next Mutation, 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 uninhabitable 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."
  • As a forced variation of this, the The Angry Video Game Nerd made fun of the fact that there is no pause function in Ghostbuster 2 on the NES.
    It's like tough shit if you wanna take a shit, you gotta do turbo-turds!
  • 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 another day.
  • Honkai Impact 3rd, like many online game contemporaries, has a "stamina" system to prevent the players from doing too much in one sitting. Many gameplay modes cost a certain amount of stamina to play, and it regenerates at the rate of one unit every 6 minutes. The stamina limit is increased by upping the captain's level. You can buy more stamina by spending crystals, but the more you buy in a day, the more expensive it'll get. In a later update, the Valkyrie you set on your bridge may sometimes tell you to stop playing and go to bed.

    Adventure Games 
  • The Stanley Parable has an achievement called "Go Outside", earned by not playing the game for 5 years. It first became legitimately possible to get on October 17, 2018. The Ultra Deluxe version added "Super Go Outside", which you get by not playing for 10 years. You can't legitimately get this achivement until April 27, 2032.
  • 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. Half-averted, as 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.

    Driving Games 
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune can be configured to turn off the card reader after a specified time. Like the general "shop close" example above, this can be done as a way of preventing new players from joining in so close to the arcade's closing time; sure, you can play a round without a card, but many players who use cards won't enjoy doing that. It's also helpful if the arcade powers off its machines at closing time; you don't want to start a round only for the machine to power off in the middle of the game, leaving your card stuck without staff intervention.
  • Gran Turismo's B-Spec mode play with this trope in that the players is assigned as a director instead of a driver, and the driver of player's car become an AI directed by the player. While the game series averted this trope by itself (or inverted if the players decided to go for A-Spec mode in a Marathon Level), B-Spec mode secretly and actually encourages this trope since the player isn't required to control the driver in full.
    • An update in 5 included the option to exit an endurance race in A-Spec mode while saving the progress done in that race during a pit stop.

    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 
  • Alchademy: The alchemists will frequently suggest that you do other things while you wait for them to finish mixing.
  • Despite being a game that encourages leaving it running, Anti-Idle: The Game offers perks for closing the game and coming back later: Your trees (if any) will continue to grow (although they will also expire when they hit expiration time), you will continue to rack up coins and EXP, and you'll also receive "REST" bonuses that provide benefits to the Mini Games, the duration of the bonuses being directly proportional to how much time was spent leaving the game closed.
  • Cookie Clicker: The flavor text of the upgrade for clicking 77 golden cookies is "You've been up all night, haven't you?" and the flavor text of the related achievement is "You should really go to bed."
  • Factory idle. If you quit the game entirely, you'll be rewarded when you return with "bonus ticks" for fast-forward mode.

  • Angry Birds Epic used to have "rested bonuses" for not being online over a period of 30 minutes, but they were removed in an update.
  • 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.
      • In the vanilla WoW beta, Blizzard planned for a different Anti Poop-Socking: starting at baseline and gradually decreasing XP over time. Players hated it, feeling they were being punished just for playing the game. So Blizzard changed it so that logging out increased XP for a time after log-in before falling back to baseline. Players lauded the "change." In truth, Blizzard didn't change anything. Instead of starting at "normal" and falling to "low," players started at "high" before falling to "normal." No values were actually changed; they just called it something else. Much later Blizzard even admitted, "It was the same numbers seen from the opposite point of view."
    • 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 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.
    • The Shadowlands Maw zone puts a soft limit on playing time by gradually adding in-world threats as the player kills mobs, and by removing those threats the next day. As a result, the average player is motivated to achieve only so much in the Maw on any given day.
  • Guild Wars helpfully warns the player every hour just how long they have been playing. After two hours, it suggests taking a break.
  • Zig-Zagged in Granblue Fantasy. The game has an AP bar that depletes whenever you start a quest or battle, and an EP counter that depletes whenever you join a raid someone else started. However, the game gives out so many recovery items (both from free giveaways and as in-game rewards) for both that most players will rarely be unable to play due to a lack of either.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Atlantica Online used to have 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.
    • Nowadays it just uses various exp bonuses that can only be collected a few times per day instead, though the TBS mode still has some sort of stamina (on a weekly basis), and another kind limits how much material you can gather from player home resource fields per day.
  • According to the manual for FusionFall, the NanoCom is its own 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.
    • More successfully implemented later with two once-unbeatable bosses. The Pandemonium Warden once withstood a group trying to defeat it for about nineteen hours, causing notable bad press, and leading to the implementation of a two hour time limit on both it and Absolute Virtue.
    • Also implemented through certain time limits that must be reached before mission or quest progress can be made. This can be seen in most guides as having to wait "until Japan midnight" before a quest or mission can be finished or began.
  • 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 and temp-bans you for five minutes if you've been logged in for six hours straight. This was more intended to stop bots than excessive players, but it does provide a useful wake-up call to the latter.
    • This has since been increased to 23 hours.
  • 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
  • Dungeon Fighter Online has a Fatigue Point system, by giving each character a cap of 156 rooms they could traverse per 24-hour period. One point is consumed when you enter a new room in a dungeon, and if you run out of Fatigue Points, that character is done for the day. The only exception is if you run out while in a dungeon, in which case you're still allowed to finish. Special dungeons cost 8 Fatigue Points to enter, but there's no additional cost when exploring them.
    • In the current build of the global version, the FP bar is raised to 176 on weekends. There are also Fatigue Potions that can be made via alchemy to recover your FP by 30 but the ingredients for them can be hard to get, as well as different variants available in the Mileage shop that restore 20 and 50 FP, all of which you can use the same day. Before the Season 2 update, if you REALLY wanted to optimize your FP use, you could have another character mentor with you and have them dripfeed you 1 FP at a time, giving you up to 10 additional full dungeon runs.
    • Valley of Fallen Souls dungeons instead use limited numbers of entries per day. (metered by inventory items for Tower of the Dead and Tower of Illusion, by a simple count for Altar of Ascension and Altar of Infinity) You actually get to play them less often than dungeons, but you can do so at no cost to your FP and even when you're completely out. The number of times you can play Altar of Ascension and Infinity is also reset every time you level up, potentially allowing you to run them up to 9-12 times a day if you time them correctly.
    • The NeoPremium contracts introduced in the early September update increase your base FP to 234 and 273 points respectively: if you then proceed to use every kind of daily FP potion available, you'll end up with over 400 FP to spend, which will take over an hour of solid dungeon-crawling to use up and that's assuming you manage to clear every room in 10 seconds and never pick up any items, which more or less defeats the point. Add unskipable load times to that and you'll more than likely add another hour to it and change the room clear times to a more realistic 20-30 seconds with picking up items factored in and you'll probably get closer to 3-4 hours: repeat this over 3-4 characters and you'll probably get your FP restored by the time you're done with the last one, unless you make it a point to just play the game nonstop for the sake of it and never take a single break. The above estimation doesn't even take dungeons that cost no FP to run into account, which will easily add another hour or 2 into the estimate for each character.
  • 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.
    • The game also has Production Points (PP) for crafters. Every time a player harvests a resource node or crafts an object, an appropriate number of PP is deducted. When the player runs out of PP, harvesting or crafting becomes impossible. These points regenerate over time (five points per five minutes, for a daily yield of 1,440 PP out of a cap of 4,000), and are bound to the player's account, preventing them from just jumping to another character. Of course, the game store sells items to restore PP, if it's so important to you.
  • 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.
    • Taking breaks in a longer term is also explicitly part of the game's design - the game's producer has spoken several times about how he would much rather have players unsub between patches as opposed to burning themselves out by playing a game that they don't really want to be playing during content droughts.
    • 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.
    • That is for the "A Realm Reborn" remake. In the original game, playing for too long would put a penalty on EXP gains. Teleports also required a special resource that took real time days to replenish. The guildlevel system was there too, and considering the general lack of other interesting things to do in the original game makes this game a particularly bad example.
  • 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.
  • Nexus Clash has the same maximum of about 100 actions per player per day for all characters. There are some ways to store additional actions for later or give actions to another player, but overall it's almost always possible to do all of the day's meaningful actions on all of your characters on less than half an hour a day.
  • On top of more common practices that tie into Freemium Timer and Play Every Day mechanics, Tower of Fantasy uses this trope to control player progression:
    • The Global version of the game starts the players at an abysmal level cap of 18 for the first day of launch, but then slowly raises it with each passing day. While the level cap lifts at a quick rate, going to 24 on day 2 and then rising 3 levels each subsequent day, the increments slow down after the first week — going at 2 levels every couple days and then slowing down to 1 level every 3 days, until things taper off at its highest cap of 80. Since equipment upgrades and various gameplay features are also level-gated, this practice discourages players from rushing through content as they risk losing excess experience from story quests (which yield enormous bursts of experience) once they're at the level cap.
    • If a player rushes the story too quickly, they'll also find that the game outright timegates its later story chapters, which will only become available when your account is certain hours old. This last bit also means that players who joined later are still forced to wait through the time-gate instead of being allowed to rush through the story to catch up with the playerbase.
    • There are a lot of points of interest to find across the large overworld map, each of them yielding Black or Gold Nuclei used for the gacha system, and contributing to exploration progress achievements that give extra rewards. There's very few physical barriers that prevent you from straying off the beaten path so you can theoretically navigate to a quick-travel point on the other side of the map if you know where to go. That said, several chests and interest points meant to be discovered far later into the plot will be inaccessible for a set period of time (some as long as a few weeks!) and this time-gate is player-dependent. It forces players to pace themselves with exploration as opposed to scrounging everything from the map in one go.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party: Star Rush: Much like other 3DS games, if the game is played for long enough, a notification will appear after the player returns to the Party Plaza that reads "If you need to, take a little break. The party's not going anywhere!", accompanied by an image of Yoshi sleeping.

  • 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."
  • Cuphead has this in the form of an acapella song, A Quick Break.
  • 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 sometimes 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.
    • Lubba also has a text bubble over his head saying "So...sleepy..." if you play the game after 1 a.m. When you talk to him, he complains about how early it is.
    • 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.
  • In the console versions of The Sponge Bob Movie Game, after completing the game and watching the ending cutscene, you get a closing statement from the show's narrator, who tells you to "go outside and get some sun, you look awful pale".
  • One of the loading screen messages in LittleBigPlanet Vita suggest that the player go and get a cloth to clean their screen of any accumulated smudges.
  • The unlicensed NES game Koko Adventure has an internal timer that ticks up while you're playing. If this timer reaches 50 minutes, a blank screen with the word "rest" will pop up, prompting you to take a break. While you can skip it immediately, if you actually take its advice and spend 5 minutes away from the console, it'll reward you with a 1-Up!
  • Daroach in Kirby Mass Attack may, on occasion, give you a reminder to take a break now and then when you visit him on his airship.
  • Mega Man:
    • The Japanese version of Mega Man X5 has a warning screen between the Capcom logo and the intro FMV featuring a picture of Alia and some text advising the player to take a break every hour and play as far away from the TV as possible in a well-lit room.
    • The Rockman Complete Works games have a similar warning with a picture of Roll, albeit with an additional line at the end asking the player if they've done their homework yet.
  • Pizza Tower pokes fun at this by having one of the Pizza Grannies (who usually gives you gameplay tips) reminds you to not take any breaks, and warns you that "your time here is limited!".

    Puzzle Game 

  • Pokémon:
    • Some Pokemon that evolve via friendship evolution only do so during the day, which if nothing else encourages players to sleep, since playing too much at night will prevent the Pokemon from evolving and thus actively hinder its growth.
    • 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. ** In the same games, 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.
    • Pokémon X and Y feature "O-Powers", which can be used for a variety of helpful temporary benefits such as lowering store prices, boosting stats, healing, and even making eggs hatch much faster. The Egg Hatching O-Power in particular has tremendous use with improved customization features of the series. The caveat? They cost little orbs on the O-Power screen to use, which when used must regenerate. However, for every thousand steps between 2001 and 4001 registered on the system's pedometer on a given day, the orbs regenerate that much faster. The system pedometer only counts steps while in sleep mode, meaning that just taking a walk while playing won't count. But at 4x O-Power Regeneration, the Level 3 Egg-Hatching O-Power actually restores enough of itself by the time it wears off that it takes hours of consecutive usage to actually need recharging, making the break well worth it. Plus, to unlock the 3rd (max) level effects for each power, the level one must be used enough to unlock level 2, and so on. Good way to get competitive players to take a walk.
  • 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...
  • All three entries in the Mother series do this. Each game runs an internal timer for two hours, and once it hits that mark, it brings up a message suggesting that you take a break. In EarthBound Beginnings and EarthBound (1994), the message appears as a call from your father (oddly, in EarthBound, you can get this call even before you get the Receiver Phone item that enables other characters to call you on the overworld), while in Mother 3, the message comes from Leder's bell (though in this case it's more to remind you to save your game).
  • One of the loading screen tips in Baldur's Gate II reads, "While your character does not have to eat, remember that YOU do. We don't want to lose any dedicated players."
  • Persona 3'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 the original release of Persona 3 and 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 minutes or so.
  • The World Ends with You
    • Pins earn three different kinds of PP, one of which can only be gained by leaving your DS off for a while (called Shutdown PP), earning experience for up to seven days of not playing. Some pins will evolve into new kinds of pins only if the majority of the PP they've gained is of one of those three kinds, including the Shutdown PP pins. If you want to get every kind of pin, you have to leave your game off for significant periods of time.
    • Shutdown PP is weighted heavily in type dominance for Pin Evolution, at a 9:1 ratio to Battle PP.
    • In the DS version, Mingle PP, the third type of PP, also works as anti-poop-socking, but in a lesser fashion. The primary method of gaining PP, Mingle Mode, requires the player to leave the system on, but not actually interact with it. (In general, the best thing to do is to close the case and leave the AC adapter plugged in.) Upon encountering other DS systems in Wireless mode, the player's deck gains Mingle PP. (More PP is given, besides other benefits, if the other system was also playing TWEWY in Mingle Mode.)
      • For those without DS-wielding friends, the game will also provide Aliens at random intervals in Mingle Mode, worth (in the Western version) even more PP than normal encounters with players.
      • Mingle PP is even more heavily weighted than Shutdown PP, at a 20:1 ratio. In the Western release, gains from Mingle mode are more than doubled from the Japanese version, making evolution (or mastery, if the "correct" PP isn't Mingle) occur even faster.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Crops up again in Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online (which has the central premise of the characters playing an In-Universe MMO) when Vert casually mentions that after a while, the ability to stick together for a 96 hour session should come naturally. When Noire asks how she even stays awake for four days at a time, Vert mentions she mail-orders special energy drinks. At this point Neptune ignores the fourth wall to remind the player that Vert's a goddess, and trying to copy her is a really bad idea. Also, the second time this comes up, it turns out that not only Vert does play really long sessions, she sometimes plays multiple games at once. Neptune has to ask, if hypocritically, if she gets any work done at all.
  • 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 the only way to get them without spending real money is to leave the 3DS in sleep mode. Downplayed in that the game is designed to be completable without ever using Bravely Second, so you never need Sleep Points to progress.
    • Bravely Default II has the “Exploration” feature, in which the heroes can send out an explorer to find treasure on the high seas... but only while the Switch is in sleep mode. Since Exploration Mode can yield valuable rewards like items that provide free experience boosts and permanent stat increases, it pays to take extended breaks from playing.
  • Mobius Final Fantasy will flash up a message 2 hours of play, telling you that for a 'deeper, richer' experience you should take regular breaks. After a third hour of play, a message will come up advising you to take a break 'for your health and safety'. After a fourth hour, the game will tell you to take a break and lock you out for two hours. (This may in part be to prevent damage to hardware - the game's great graphics means phones run very hot when asked to play it for a long time. Players have anecdotally reported battery swelling...)
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 5 has a book in the Greenwood Library with the following message:
    "Remember to take a break from playing video games every hour or so. Prolonged sitting can lead to hemorrhoids and early death (even in real life). You should also try to eat a vegetable occasionally, and remember not to look directly at the sun."
  • In Ring Fit Adventure this is very much justified as it is an Exergame, and too much exercise can have negative effects. The game also periodically reminds you to drink water and stay hydrated.
  • In Miitopia, after every few stages, the game will ask whether you want to continue or quit. The lullaby music and napping Miis are meant as an unsubtle hint, but of course you can do what you like. If you choose to continue, however, the Miis will get shocked expressions on their faces.

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • Triangle Service's consumer ports of their games Shmups Skill Test, ΔZEAL, XIIZEAL, TRIZEAL, and EXZEAL each have a "Long Time No See" achievement for taking a break for a few days.

    Simulation Games 
  • Animal Restaurant: After playing for over an hour straight, a message will pop up informing you of this and reminding you to rest.
  • 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, or if your daily schedule follows non-mainstream hours (e.g. if you work night shift).
    • 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 New Horizons, the Custom Design Portal, which lets you upload and download custom designs made within the game, is located inside the Able Sisters' shop, which means you cannot transmit custom designs outside of their store hours. However, a later update would make the Custom Design Portal a NookPhone app, allowing players to use the Portal any time they want.
  • Cozy Grove: The game is intended to be played in many relatively short daily sessions. After you have cleared that day's story quests, the main quest giver will tell you that no one needs helping, and try again tomorrow. You can still explore and gather materials.
  • In Pilotwings Resort, your instructor advices you to take a break after about an hour of playtime.
  • Satisfactory: Starting with a minor update deployed on July 24th, the game will display a prompt suggesting players take a break after being played for 2 hours straight.
  • Seaman is a game that advances on its own time: the eponymous creature will only feel like talking for so long before it decides it doesn't wish to converse anymore, and trying to coax it into talking will only make it irate. Starting the game multiple times in one day will even cause Leonard Nimoy to think you obsessed or lacking better things to do. In any case, the only thing to do is wait until the next day in realtime before talking to Seaman again (or bumping the Dreamcast's internal clock forward a day, if you don't wish to wait).
  • The Truck Simulator series requires drivers to periodically find a rest stop and sleep; in Euro it's every 11 in-game hours (about every 30 real-life minutes), and in American it's every 14 hours (40 minutes). There is an option to turn fatigue off if you'd rather play without these interruptions, though the stops do provide sensible places to save and quit your game.

    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.
  • WarioWare: Smooth Moves requires a good deal more physical activity than some real world sports, thus having "want a break?" messages by necessity and an enforced brief break in the action between every cycle of games in a score run.
  • 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.
  • Wii Fit recommends periodical breaks. A good thing, since some games can be very tiring.
  • When you play Punch-Out!! on the Wii with the Nunchuk, it can be quite tiring due to physical input on the player's part. So when you win a match in Exhibition Mode, sometimes Doc Louis will greet you with this quote:
    Kid, you won! But you look mighty tired out there! Isn't it past your bedtime?

    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 you near the end of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, your support staff starts calling you near-constantly to tell you random things, most of which are fourth wall-breaking nonsense. In a pair of these calls, you're ordered to turn the game off, told that "it's just a game". Immediately after, your staff calls you again to tell you that you've been playing for a long time (they say this 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.
    • Metal Gear Solid V continues this sterling tradition if you go too long without showering, and Ocelot gently, politely reminds you of the importance of personal hygiene and taking breaks by throwing a bucket of water at you upon your next visit to Mother Base. The player is never addressed directly, but the message comes through loud and clear: "You've been playing the game too much."

    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!" The thing is, the messages are connected to the system clock, so people who work a night shift and start a game late at night will get the same nag as if they'd been playing for hours on end.
    • "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". Made even more compelling in the French version by the fact that the voice actor for Morgan Freeman provides the voice of the in-game narrator.
    • Same with 2070, only with voiceovers from EVE.
    • Anno 1800 continues this trend, displaying messages every 2 hours.
  • 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.
    • Alpha Centauri inverted this; when you tried to go, it would sometimes say "Please don't go. The drones need you. They look up to you."
  • 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.
  • In Puzzles & Survival, stamina and energy regenerate very slowly. Building upgrades can take several real world days to finish at the higher levels.

    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 real time. Specifically, the next day will unlock in 12 hours; until then your save file will be marked with "WAIT". You can cheat the game and unlock the next day immediately, but you'll get called out on it.
  • The energy system for NU: carnival regenerates at 1 per 5 minutes and the intimacy system per 10 minutes. Considering the high energy requirements of daily gold and experience potion stages, a lot of waiting may be involved if no items are used to restore energy. Gaining a new level also results in a Level-Up Fill-Up, though.

  • In WarioWare: D.I.Y., if you spend enough time on one of the MakerMatics 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Tomodachi Life:
    • Miis will often go to bed when it's nighttime. You cannot wake up a Mii that is in bed; the only interactions you can do is drawing on their face and visiting their dream, the latter of which causes them to wake up momentarily when the dream ends, but they'll go right back to sleep.
    • Checking up on Miis late at night often prompts them to say "I'm not sleepy at all night." or "I'm gonna stay up all night tonight!", inverting this trope.
    • Occasionally, when you click on an awake Mii's "..." bubble (used for random quips) late at night, they will tell you to go to bed...then deny that they're a hypocrite.
  • Hearth Stone allows players to earn 10 gold for every three wins (in addition to the quest gold). However, you only get one quest per day, and you can only get the 10 gold/3 wins ten times a day (30 wins).
    • However, this is difficult for players who aren't top tier to actually hit. The only people who ever actually cap out their daily rewards are professional Hearthstone players, so this may be an aversion.
  • In The Binding of Isaac: Wrath of The Lamb, getting 250 Mom Kills will change the title screen to a drawing of a fat Isaac, with the message "STOP PLAYING!" The exact same thing happens in Repentance as well if the player manages to get Dead God on all three save files.
  • In Bloons Tower Defense 5 and 6, the hints for some particularly late rounds remind you to take breaks; the one in round 70 in BTD 5 specifically says to "eat and go outside".
    Remember to occasionally take breaks and do non-BTD5 things.
  • The Steam achievement for playing 50 different games in SEGA Mega Drive & Genesis Classics is called "It's a lovely day outside".
  • Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells: You only get a set number of lives, although you can bank up to 15 extra lives as you advance through the game. Each life regenerates after a set amount of time.
  • Neopets:
    • Restock Banning. Keep refreshing the main shops for hours on end in the hopes of nabbing that rare item, and you'll find that no items at all are shown in any shop for the rest of the day. It also applies for unique shops, such as the Smuggler's Cove (which can happen upon 1 refresh, but lasts way shorter), the Almost Abandoned Attic (after 10 items), and the Money Tree. (again, after 10 items)
    • Trudy's Surprise appears to be intended for this, though only for users who have been on the site for 13 years. It's basically a slots game that gives you Neopoints no matter what you actually spin, giving a bit of reprieve for folks who grind daily for Neopoints. The story that goes along with it suggests this trope.
    • Many of the games and events have restrictions on how often you can play. The term 'dailies' by the player base refers to events that can only be done once a day (ex. Tombola, Lab Ray, the Giant Omelette, the aforementioned Trudy's Surprise, etc.), sometimes with in-universe justification. While a few, such as Coltzan's Shrine and the Healing Springs, have lower wait times, they still require you to, well, wait. Some games, such as Dice-a-Roo and Kacheek Seek, will eventually have your Neopet get annoyed and ask to play something else after some time. You also can only submit scores on each flash game three times a day, which makes things trickier if you're going for a high score (which is necessary for some avatars).

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Adapted Mind, an online learning program for kids in grades K-8, lets the student do one math lesson per day. When trying to go to the next level, a message will pop up by clicking "Parents, Why?", explaining that their goal is to get kids to take a break from their devices and go outside.
  • In Real Life, the governments of several eastern nations (most notably China, as well as South Korea) mandate these kinds of features by law following several high-profile news stories about people starving to death while working on gold farms, etc, due to the judgement that such incidents were making the party look like it couldn't care for its people.
  • 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.
  • The LeechBlock add-on for Firefox lets users establish their own Anti Poop Socking for websites.
  • The Mummy Monster Game: Inverted in the first book — "The Mummy Monster Game" comes with an early warning that the players can take breaks, or even shut the game off, in between challenges. The longer it takes to finish though, the more mummy monsters will be unleashed against the player, even into the real world. This is what prompts Harry to play solo while his cousins are at school, completing three challenges on his own.
  • 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." Nickelodeon often 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.
    • Nick briefly went off the air on March 14, 2018 to show solidarity with gun control protests going on that day. Unlike most examples of this, this was not meant to encourage more physical activity but raise awareness of social issues, and most people actually supported this move.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • +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.
  • The need for sleep forces humans and most other animals to "log out" periodically, lest they suffer debilitating status effects. Depending on how long you're awake, symptoms of sleep deprivation can include headaches, blurred vision, hallucinations, nausea, and even death.
  • 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.
  • Saintess Summons Skeletons: In-Universe, after Sofia spends all night killing monsters, the System gives her a summary of her results and a gentle chiding, "For your mental health, remember to take breaks." Since she reached nearly half a million kills, averaging over 11 per second, it may have had a point.
  • 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 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. Pandora does something similar. This is less about poopsocking and more about having to pay royalties for every video/song played, so they want to make sure there's actually someone consuming them.
  • According to one etymology, 18th century Britons named the sandwich after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was said to have ordered his food between slices of bread so he wouldn't have to stop playing cards to eat.
  • The Apple Watch's Fitness app tracks how many hours of the day in which you stand up and move for at least one minute, and will remind you to get up if you're wearing your Watch and it didn't detect you standing up in the first 50 minutes of the current hour. Of course, there might be times where standing up once an hour is not feasible (such as long road trips or being bedridden due to serious illness or injury), so there's an option to silence these kinds of reminders for the rest of the day if necessary. For those who use a wheelchair and have their Watch configured to wheelchair mode, the stand notifications are replaced with notifications informing the user to push their wheelchair around.
  • After not seeing her son for a day and a half, this worried mom schedules an internet outage to force him to come out of his room.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged the tutorial NPC Charlie serves this purpose. He reminds players of how long they've been playing and suggests breaks- to people who've been trapped there and cannot log out. Fortunately for the (questionable) sanity of the players, he got shanghaied into Keita's guild (Keita had been rounding out his guild by exploiting a glitch where if one doesn't complete quests, one can take quest NPCs anywhere, even out of the quest area) and later dies, preventing anyone from being annoyed by him (or getting the tutorial, but details!).
    Charlie: You've been playing for Four-Thousand-Six-Hundred-And-Eight hours, maybe you should take a break!
    Keita: I would if I could, Mom, but that's not really an option now is it!?
  • Enforced by the Ainz Ooal Gown guild in Overlord, of which the protagonist is one of the members, and now the leader. One of the rules for joining the guild is that the player MUST have a job in real life instead of spending all day every day playing the game.
  • Wikia has a form of this in its Achievements system (for wikis that have this feature activated). One series of achievements requires you to contribute to a wiki at least once a day for X number of days. This encourages a contributor to spread out their contributions instead of spending a lot of time on a wiki on any particular day.
  • The transportation industry in most nations have logging rules to put a limit on how long a person can be allowed to pilot a vehicle. One example is the United States Trucking industry which requires drivers to log their activities and limits them to 11 hours driving per day and 70 hours in a given week. Despite these rules there are stories of truck drivers using bottles to relieve themselves rather than stopping the truck.
    • If your eleven hours is up in eighty minutes and your depot is eighty-five miles ahead, you do not stop.
  • Recent versions of Android come with a feature called Digital Wellbeing reminding users to lay off on their devices after a set period. Ditto with the YouTube client and most especially with its YouTube Kids client for children.
  • Smart devices for children tend to have time controls in place both to prevent excessive eyestrain and alleviate addiction concerns.
  • This trope is possibly the reason why Disney+ does not release full seasons all at once like Netflix. Viewers are more likely to stick around if you force them to come back each week, rather than paying for a single month, binging the series, then cancelling. Of course, this doesn't stop savvy viewers from waiting for the last episode to be released before subscribing for a month and binging.
  • A classic bit of light verse (going back to the Hollerith card era), "The Last Bug," has a stanza,
    He died at the console,
    Of hunger and thirst.
    Next day he was buried,
    Face down, nine-edge first.
(Note that "nine-edge" refers to the bottom edge of a Hollerith card, closest to where holes representing the digit "9" are punched.)
  • SCP Foundation has SCP-5094, an Edutainment Game Cool Teacher whose lessons are engrossing, engaging, and supernaturally effective at imparting knowledge. She also gives restroom, lunch, and recreation breaks for her students.
  • The Tamagotchi digital pets, much like real-life pets, go to sleep at night (as late as 11 P.M.). Thus, there is no point in checking on it until morning - good thing too, because the Tamagotchi handhelds are known to be quite addicting to the point that they have a form of The Tetris Effect named after them called the "Tamagotchi effect".
  • Starting from early 2020, the app TikTok will start interspersing videos asking the viewer to go outside and take a break after around ten minutes of uninterrupted scrolling. These are by popular influencers and are upbeat in tone, even sincerely offering suggestions on what you can do while the app is off (getting something to eat, exploring the city, spending time with pets, etc.). The app also has 'screen time management' settings. This is in no doubt in response to criticisms that the app's format is highly addicting.
  • Tumblr: There's a limit of 5 asks per hour and 250 posts per day. Those who use it like an old-fashioned blog will probably not worry about the latter limit, but for those who use Tumblr like it's short-form social media or reblog a lot of content, they might run into the limit sometimes.

Alternative Title(s): Poop Socking