I’m not blessed with the gift of sleep as often as I would like. I suffer from M.E. (or ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’) which means I’m constantly tired, yet at the same time have great difficulty sleeping. It’s one of the more ironic ailments somebody can be inflicted with. You’re probably asking yourself why am I telling you this without soliciting you for a donation of just two pounds a month? Because when I can’t sleep, I game.
While many of my fellow writers strive to find time in their day to pick up the controller, my nights are awash with nothing but free time, energy drinks, and Xbox Live. Insomnia is nothing new to the lives of most gamers, but when I consistently found myself spending entire nights gaming I noticed patterns in my behaviour. So, I thought I’d document a night when I am literally not sleeping at all, but am instead gaming, and see how it might turn out as a blog. Keep in mind that prior to the beginning of the experiment, I had already been awake for a full day.
I recorded a diary-like entry over the course of the night and eventually broke the results up into three stages of my gaming insomnia, based on the time of night and what my brain decided was the best thing to do at the time. The three stages are broken down into: Multiplayer (11pm-3am), Single Player (3am-5am) and Gaming Without Playing (5am-10am). The following is actual, live, documentation (with added, never before written bracket commentary!) of Stage 1:
11:37pm – As many night owls can testify to, as the hour hand on the clock gets higher, your skill levels drop in direct proportion. Therefore, I am now going to jump into a few games of Modern Warfare 2 early, and use up what online energy I have while I have it! Let’s do this Marines!
00:56am – If I get one more random freaking message asking if I want to increase my Modern Warfare e-penis size for 800 MSP then I’m going to tear my own hair out and feed it to a cat. Stop messaging me!
01:23am – Somebody called ‘MOD x XENON x’ just stole my care package. I hate him. I hate his stupid gamertag, his stupid face, and this infuriating game! (though I chose not to write it down at the time, I did throw my controller at the wall when he did it again in the next game)
02:17am – Anger levels have peaked. Skill levels are almost depleted. I must replenish them from the emergency reserves! (the following photo is of the emergency reserves. People have brought the question up before so allow me to answer in advance – no. Even if I don’t switch to emergency reserves do I get to sleep. I am just far more zombiefied while I remain awake)
02:27am – Just chugged an entire can of Relentless – I’ve done smarter things in my life. My mind remains functioning to at least an acceptable degree though. I do appear to have somehow acquired hiccups because of the chugging, I’m sure some high-octane action in Blur online shall resolve this issue!
02:39am – It did not. Every time I hiccup I lose focus for a fraction of a second and I either miss a power-up or slam head first into the dividing section of two possible race paths. It was difficult enough when everything other than the back bumper of my car was a disorientating hazy… well, Blur! (I tried to think of a better way of describing it, I really did, but the pun was just too insistent on being written)
02:54am – I can feel my brain melting and slowly oozing out of my ears. I can’t take any more gameplay involving other players. I fear for both my self-restraint and their lives. The hiccups have gone but my focus and concentration is utterly destroyed. I made three typos in that last sentence alone – I can’t take anymore. I’m cutting the Ethernet cable. It’s just not worth it at this point! (you’ll be pleased to know I did not cut the cable, I couldn’t find any scissors)