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?
Basically this is when people stay up way later than they 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.
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 can merely do this.
Also, examples are about games only. Other media are covered by separate tropes.
- Wonder Woman (1987): Kris Lazarus seems physically incapable of setting down his game console, though he will lower it briefly to interact with others, and is only seen without it after he's been knocked unconscious with fatal injuries. When his father loses his mind to grief and recreates Kris as an AI this seems to be the only thing he knew for sure about his son, as the AI is entirely obsessed with games.
- 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 has 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.
- Having never picked up a video game before, the dad in The Wizard gets this in a bad way. He even gets distracted from searching for his sons by compulsively trying to beat TMNT and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
- In an example dating back to 1940, They Drive by Night has a gag with a trucker getting stuck for hours playing a pinball machine. Every time he says this is his last round, he wins a few dozen free games and feels compelled to keep playing.
- In The Reality Bug the world of Veelox 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.
- The fictional video game Mastery from The Overstory apparently makes people react this way.
- 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.
- It's also apparently a case of I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!, as Gordo looks absolutely exhausted due to not having eaten or slept for days because he's too busy playing Dwarflord, and when Lizzie and Miranda ask if he's feeling okay, he angrily brushes them off, too busy looking for things he can sell (or steal) so he can buy more Dwarflord cards.
- 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 the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Game", a woman shows Riker a small video game that gives the user a direct endorphin rush when they complete a level. Riker plays it, quickly becomes addicted, and spreads it to the 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.
- Dave from NewsRadio retakes his SATs on a dare from Lisa, but unintentionally stays up all night before the exam playing an arcade game that was recently installed on the building (an old favourite, no less). When the results come in, he reveals he did the same thing when he originally took the tests.
- In Renegadepress.com's "Alternate Reality", Sandi's increasing addiction to a video game causes him to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.
- The Civilization series lampshades this trope.
- The advertisement surrounding Civ 4 uses 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 hours had elapsed. How effective it is is doubtful, but bless them for trying.
- Civilization's sci-fi brother, Sid Meier's 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.
- Galactic Civilizations: "A few more turns wouldn't hurt, would it?"
- The game company's convention, Firaxicon, gave out T-Shirts with "One More Turn" on the back.
- 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 brings this up as part of one of Laharl's myriad Poke the Poodle schemes that he plans to do once he 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.
- Disgaea: Hour of Darkness brings this up as part of one of Laharl's myriad Poke the Poodle schemes that he plans to do once he becomes overlord.
- Tales Series:
- 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?" while playing a parody of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri's voice clip:
"Please don't go! The Diggles need you! They look up to you!"
- 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.
- The Korean region client of League of Legends has warnings telling players how long they've been playing. "You have been playing for 4 hours.", etc. For players outside of Korea, one can witness this by watching the livestream of a Korean professional League of Legends player.
- A loading screen tip in Baldur's Gate II reminds the player that they need 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 Flavor Text 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.
- The Henry Stickmin Series references this in Infiltrating the Airship. One of the fails involves Henry checking out a computer for secrets, only to get distracted playing Civilization V. The Fail messages asks for one more turn.
- Zero Punctuation:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When Tentajo is arrested by Morgan for excessive fanservice in Nerf NOW!!, his Cool and Unusual Punishment is he has to be imprisoned for a year with a computer with no internet connection and only non-perverted games like Civilization. When they tell him he's free to go after his year is up, he asks for one more turn.
- Exaggerated in Ctrl+Alt+Del when Lucas initially refuses to let Ethan play EverQuest II because of his addiction to the first EverQuest that nearly destroyed his life: he dropped out of high school, stopped getting up from his computer desk to sleep, stopped doing anything that took longer than the 5 minutes it took his character's mana to regenerate, including bathing and eating anything other than instant pasta and pudding, sold everything he didn't need to pay for his subscription and at one point tried to sell Lucas, and went into fits of Unstoppable Rage every time his character died because of the ensuing experience penalty.
- Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth has Flintlocke getting angry and depressed after realising he has been playing World of Warcraft for eight hours and then... "Eight more won't kill me."
- Akinator, according to his backstory, is addicted to the Twenty Questions game, hence why the website was created.
- They compared the strategy in New Super Mario Bros. Wii to "potato chips" as that the levels are so small that it doesn't take much convincing to get another one.
- Somewhere in that bag is an angry dinosaur and a kidnapped princess.
- The Angry Joe Show: Angry Joe initially scoffs at Civilization V as a boring game about "reading shit" and "looking at statistics". 16 hours and one Gilligan Cut later, he's sweating, slightly foaming at the mouth, twitching constantly, and mumbling swears at Montezuma, all while murmuring "Just one more turn..."
- The Wiiviewer noted this in his review of Harvest Moon. It looked so boring at first, and then hours had just gone by.
- TotalBiscuit has always said that his WTF Is series is all about first impressions. When it came to XCOM 2, however, his "first impressions" for the game just so happened to be after 72 hours and a completed campaign.
- PlayStation Access brought this up in "7 'One-More-Go' Games You Can't Stop Playing Until 4am."
- Bob's Burgers: In ''Burgerboss", Bob buys an arcade machine for the restaurant that he has fond memories playing. Jimmy Pesto comes over and plays a game, only to beat the high score with over 300,000 points. To make matters worse, he names his high score "Bob Sux", which drives Bob furious. In a bid to get a higher score, he stays awake all night playing the game. The next morning, he has symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Linda sells the machine to an arcade shop, but Bob finds out and starts playing Burgerboss again. The medication for his sprained wrists supposedly make him stronger, and he develops a dependence on them.
- Bojack Horseman: Todd has an unfortunate addiction to "Decapathon", and he relapses at the worst possible moment when he's preparing his rock opera for showing to investors. Having coincidentally actually Bojack planted it there to sabotage him run across it the night before, he tells himself he will just play one game before getting to work. Smash cut to the sun rising and Todd still playing.
- South Park jokes about this.
- In "Guitar Queer-o", Stan and Kyle become talented enough at Guitar Hero to go pro. The episode parodies rise-to-fame and musician biopic tropes, even including a Breakup Breakout. To take the edge off the sudden success, Stan becomes obsessed with a game called "Heroin Hero", in which you inject yourself with heroin and chase a cheeky dragon who can't be caught. Like real heroin, Stan starts "chasing the dragon" and becomes addicted to playing it.
- In the episode "Towelie", the boys get the new game system "The Okama Gamesphere". They make up excuses to keep playing.
Stan: Uhh... we can't go to baseball practice because... Kyle has cancer.
- In the episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft", the boys did nothing but play World of Warcraft for weeks, becoming grotesquely fat and acne-ridden as a result. This one is a double-example: they did all of this so that they could level up enough to beat someone who ALSO did this, literally having never once logged off since launch, and somehow had developed the ability to kill player characters, even when not flagged for PVP and on the same side no less. So what do they do once they achieve this godly status along with the Sword of 1000 Truths? Go back to playing the rest of the game like nothing happened...
- The Simpsons: In "Lisa Gets An 'A'", this happened to Lisa Simpson she wasn't prepared for playing with a Crash Bandicoot Captain Ersatz for a 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, having been made by a couple of nerds.
- During an episode of Brandy & 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 in the 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.
Margery: Why, where is the dear boy?
Mike: There's his body, but good luck finding his mind.
- Doug wins a video game system from a store and then spends the next few days playing games while not doing his homework and nearly being late for school.
- In the Steven Universe episode "Arcade Mania", Steven introduces Garnet to a rhythm game. She quickly becomes so hooked that she stops being aware of anything else in the world, to the point that the only way to break her trance is by destroying the game.
- In one episode of Arthur, Arthur becomes addicted to a game on his mother's computer. When he shows his mother how to play the game, she becomes addicted too and stays up all night trying to finish it.
- Stumpy is addicted to video games despite being horrible at them. The addiction is so bad that when Kaeloo temporarily takes away his console in "Let's Play Simon Says", all he can do is crawl on the floor while weakly saying "My console..." until she gives it back.
- Kaeloo herself becomes a victim of this trope in Episode 100 after Stumpy shows her how to play one of his video games, to the extent that she plays it for one whole year without stopping.
- The Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) episode "Defrosted" has Fixit become addicted to playing one of Russell's handheld games, which distracts him from his Mission Control duties and eventually ends with him screaming a Big "NO!" after the Bee Team's return from their mission breaks the game.
- 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!"
- In an interview with Electronic Gaming Monthly, singer Mya said that fellow musician Sisqo had such a tendency for this for any game that he was playing that he would literally forget to eat unless someone told him to.
- Knitters have a similar phrase. "Just one more Row!" until the project is done.
- Ditto for folks reading a book they really enjoy. "Just One More Page/Chapter" is common on t-shirts.