The reasons might differ, but every person you know probably stayed up way later than they should have [Ed – I am suffering right now], and regretting the lack of sleep the next morning. The reasons might vary, but the results are more or less the same. The doesn’t even relate to video gaming, but with everything; you went out partying, you binge watched a series, or wanted to finish the book you’re busy with. The reasons aren’t always fun either, like working or studying, unless you get kicks out of such things, I’m not here to judge.
But, since we’re all about video games, I will narrow it down to just that for the purpose of this list. So here are six reasons you stayed up way too late on a school night, because of video games:
The story just grabbed you
It is no secret that video games are telling some of the best and most compelling stories of any medium at the moment. Sure, a lot of it is still a bit cheesy and generic, but every now and then a true gem just comes along and grabs you. You end up being so enthralled by the tale that you just don’t want to stop until the final credits have rolled. The best recent example for me personally is Nier: Automata. People who know me, know I cannot shut up about it. When I started the game I looked at the sleek and fluid combat and fighting and wanted to give it a bash because of that, (and the sexy android waifu) but what really made it so special for me was the incredible story that not only caught me completely by surprise and never let go.
I ended up playing it way too late one Sunday evening, thinking that I will stop at some point and go to bed, but the game just never allowed me to do that and although I suffered a bit the next day, I did not regret it one moment.
You got lost in the incredible open world
Games that are played in an open world have become pretty much a staple for the medium. Many different type of genres are available in the open world, from FPS and tactical shooters, to parkour filled 3rd person action adventure games, to Epic Medieval styled adventures filled with magic and dragons, or not.
So you might argue that it can get a bit stale, which is certainly true, but every now and then a game comes along that has such a beautiful, wondrous and believable world that you just cannot help but fall in love with it and get completely lost in it. Once again, recent examples include Horizon Zero Dawn and off course The Witcher III. The two worlds might be totally different, but they both felt so alive and lived in, and you just could not help but explore every nook and cranny to see what surprise it might hold for you. I often found myself while playing HDZ, that I was just going to my next destination on foot, soaking in the game and the world around me, while in my second playthough of The Witcher, I stopped using fast travel, and traveled everyone I wanted to go by Roachback.
I once again found myself playing a bit too late into the night, not thinking too much about it and not really doing much except exploring. Maybe it is a good thing I never played Skyrim, because I think I would still have been busy.
You’re on a winning (or losing streak)
You have a solid 2.5 K/D for the last seven matches, you top the leader board every time and you are just simply in the zone. You can’t go to bed when you are on this epic winning streak, that would be madness! But then the inevitable loss rolls around and the streak is over. Time for bed now right? WRONG! You can’t go to bed on such a negative note, you just need to get one win and you can go to bed a happy gamer, but you lose the next, and the next and now it is becoming personal because this f*%#$!@ bastard keeps spawn killing me aaaaand, it is 3am and you have an early morning sales meeting with your director.
Playing with friends, who are in a different time zone
We’re in the ever connected world, and we often end up making friends with people all over the world. Sometimes, people might not work the next day because of reasons, or they only got home from work because they’re a few hours behind you, but you want to play with them so you take one for the team and end up playing too late into the evening in order to enjoy the time with said friend as much as possible.
This happened a few times playing Destiny with friends in the UK, which is two hours behind us. And while that doesn’t sound like much, their 10pm is my 12am, and once or twice I ended up regretting that one more Strike or Crucible match. Now I haven’t had too many such experiences, but I can imagine what it can be like playing with people from North or South America. I almost feel sorry or the Aussies, almost.
But I only need one more thing to complete my armour set!
With the rise of the loot based games, it has become more and more a thing were you end up grinding for hours on end in order to get the awesome armour or weapon that you want. As I’ve said before, the grind is not really a bad thing, especially if you’re enjoying the game, but it can keep you up very late at night if you need just that one more crafting material needed to make that epic flaming sword or awesome bikini armour that you’ve been grinding for.
It’s like crack, and you will continue grinding for that weapon or armour until you have it, and then go get the next item you want. A very good, and once again recent example of this is Monster Hunter World. I only recently started playing it, and still getting the ropes of it, but from what I can make out, if you want the really cool stuff, you’re going to have to burn that midnight oil in order to get it. It looks like one helluva grind, and I can’t want to be tired at work the next day because of it.
I know I am close the end of the story, and cannot stop now
Yes, you know this happened to you, probably more than once. Especially if you’re into games with solid stories and characters. It also doesn’t help that the games sometimes build up the tension so much, and they sometimes stretch it out a bit, because they have the luxury of time on their hands that other mediums don’t have. And it becomes even worse, when everything you have done over the course of the series culminates into the next few hours. You just know that shit’s about to get real, and there is no way in hell that you are leaving this here and now to go to bed.
My own personal experience of this came with the end sequence of Mass Effect 3. I had been playing hours as Commander Shepard, and grown to love and adore the crew and friends that I’ve made over the course of three games. I remember very well, that I started playing that evening at around 8pm, and by 10pm, I realised that I am not putting this game down until the credits have rolled. I could’ve avoid the next four hours, but I had to do one more mission, and advance the story just far enough. It was at that point that I realised that even if I do stop playing, there is no way that I will actually be able to sleep that night. While I was a bit confused and maybe a bit disappointed with the vague ending of the series, I certainly didn’t regret playing it up to that point and wrapping up the trilogy. It is part of the experience and the memory that I hold for the series.
So there you have it. six reasons you might end up with a lack of that much needed Vitamin Z and regretting it the next morning. I’m sure there’s more reasons for staying up too late on a school night, so please let us know in the comments.