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Monday, September 21, 2015

Sleeping vs. Eating: A Problem With Gamer Culture

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - An epidemic of obesity with an epidemic of sleep deprivation.

About two months ago in Europe, there was an epic battle of Eating vs. Sleeping in the Splatoon Splatfest. Same weekend America had Water slides vs. Roller coasters and EVO 2015.

So what would you rather do? Eat things or sleep? Well, Europe overwhelmingly favoured... eating.

Splatoon Europe Splatfest Team Eating Sleeping results Callie Marie
63% favour Eating, 37% Sleeping. That's a landslide.

I don't think this is a Europe-specific thing, but a (gaming) cultural thing that's worldwide. (The Japanese actually get less sleep than Western nations and everyone else.) There is an epidemic of under-sleeping in America and elsewhere, with it being a public health issue as declared by governmental bodies responsible for DEATHS. Meanwhile, eating has the opposite issue: People eat too much, not too little.

Let's look at Europe's obesity rate, a proxy for how much they're over-eating. When people make fun of the United States for being fat (and they are, don't get me wrong), don't forget that it's a worldwide thing:

According to Withings.

Of course, not just over-eating results in obesity. The lack of sleep results in sugar-cravings when you wake up. Overeating sugar is a fast-track to fat, which is what you'll want to do with a lack of sleep. Your body grows when you sleep and you're stunted when you ain't sleepin'.

There's a question you may have: Is there something specific to gamers that promotes eating over sleeping? If people know that they sleep too little and eat too much, why do they keep pursuing that unhealthy lifestyle?

Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Kirby cake food Jigglypuff sleeping cap Rest
Is it because Kirby has more fans than Jigglypuff?

Gamers are people of action. Generally. They want to choose the active activity rather than the passive one. That's why they're playing games and not just watching movies. Gamers don't see sleep as a choice of activity — they see it as a weakness of the body. "Sleep is for the weak", so they claim. The joys in life come from conscious indulgence, which means eating.

There's also this nasty habit for people to eat while they play videogames, which is disgusting and the subject of my ridicule. This gross multitasking activity is promoted by those in the gaming media and then perpetuated via stereotype by the mainstream media as well. And a lot of these gamers don't even recognise the problem with it because it's so engrained in their ethos that it's cool not to sleep, and eating is considered fun.

Eating isn't fun. Eating is what you need to survive. You eat enough to live and then you should stop. Meanwhile, sleeping is amazing. You can have dreams while you sleep. Fantastic creative things. You feel so much better when you wake up fully-rested than otherwise.

However, all of this sitting in front of monitor screens at night that gamers tend to do (and your author is included in this, though it's because he's writing this article late at night) overstimulates your brain. Your head can't settle down and sleep with that stimulation without considerable time of it wearing off. So that also contributes to the lack of sleep and resulting sleep disorders. Gamers have a CRAZY rate of sleep disorders.

GameFAQs How Much Sleep Do You Get Each Night gamers average sleep hourspoll
Gamers sleep less than the average population.

When sleep is an enemy and eating is pleasurable, it's a big problem.

Is it any wonder that people who preferred sleep tended to win their Splatfest matches more often than the people who preferred eating? Being well-rested means they would be far more alert in their play. Sleep fatigue is equivalent to being intoxicated by alcohol in terms of ability impairment. Too bad it wasn't enough for Team Sleep to win.

...I thought Eating vs. Sleeping was a much better Splatfest idea than Europe's most-recent Messy Bedrooms vs. Tidy Bedrooms, but it also makes sense that Messy won since we're already establishing gamers as slobs who eat nachos while they use their cheesy fingers to touch their touch screens. It's logical they don't tidy up the bedrooms they barely even sleep in.

...Ugh, I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight. 

Why does KoopaTV keep publishing articles directly or indirectly inspired by Splatoon's Splatfests? Y'all are lucky that KoopaTV wasn't around during the heyday of the Wii's Everybody Votes Channel, or else that'd be all KoopaTV would write about. It goes along with KoopaTV's theme of politicising things and having your vote matter, so it really does make sense that KoopaTV loves talking about this kind of thing! What voted-on topic in the gaming community should KoopaTV write a commentary on next? Give ideas in the comments, and win points in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program! Oh, disclosure: Ludwig has an eating disorder.

Remember, a week before this was Science vs. Art. Will Ludwig stop?
You really need to stay awake for the next Splatfest: Cars vs. Planes. Sleeping at the helm is bad!
Ludwig sees no contradiction about writing this article on a European Splatfest, and then writing an article trashing Europe's Splatfest topics.
Some of these overweight European countries want to do away with gym class... so kids can play videogames instead?
Ludwig writes about how Shigeru Miyamoto's design philosophies promote eating disorders.
It's important to know if you're an Early Bird or a Night Owl when putting together a sleep schedule.
Kirby was chosen to represent eating, but what if the fans would rather see him sleeping?
Ludwig didn't actually attend SLEEP 2022, a conference for sleep researchers and professionals, but he did write about it. They certainly wrote about gamers.


  1. Had this been in NA I would have gone with Sleeping even though I knew Eating would have won in popularity (this was when popularity mattered a lot before the 2x to 4x change but I believe Marshmallows vs Hot Dogs already had the 4x win rate change but Marshmallows still was overwhelmingly popular to matter in the end. Thankfully Roller Coasters vs Water Slides proved that less popular can win even with 2x win rate). I am not what you call a stereotypical gamer as I am underweight (I do not have a eating disorder, skinny people can exist without having them) and my stomach capacity is very small and I get uncomfortable when there is family gatherings in restaurants and I leave a lot of food to go as I can't fit all those large portions the restaurant gives.

    Sleep is great. Especially along cute plush toys.

    I do find eating pleasurable due to certain tastes. I go crazy for vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. Cheese cake is also another one I am happy to eat. Thankfully my stomach knows when I had enough and I lose interest if I have too much.

    1. The Splatfest after Eating vs. Sleeping, we of course get options between two kinds of junk-ish food.
      This poll is very old, but I guess gamers do lean towards the overweight side. ...But the overall population does, too. Bleh.

      I don't eat in restaurants for a variety of reasons, one of which is that I'm very self-conscious about other people watching me eat. >_< Part of that is serving size related, part of that is that I eat rather slowly.

      Sleep is amazing and I wish I got more of it this morning.

      Yummy ice cream. ^.^ I like the vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and hot fudge they serve on campus. The servin' size is in a small cup, presumably to help control people for the many people whose stomachs don't tell 'em.

      Thanks for the comments~

  2. So, you say if you stay up late gaming or whatever, the stimulation of your brain makes it so that it takes you a longer time to wind down and actually sleep. Yet I've found that if I stay up on the computer or gaming until 1 or 2 AM, I have a solid, uninterrupted sleep, where if I leave the computer at 10 and go to sleep at 11, I struggle to fall asleep and wake up several times during the night. Where do I fit in this situation, then?

    1. Since everyone is different sometimes different people may react to the same stimuli or the same person can react to the same stimuli differently depending on the circumstances. Sometimes I play a lot on purpose so I can be fatigued enough to fall asleep, that is if I do not feel tired at all. It's a double edged sword, if I am tired and I do that I may be more awake afterwards.

    2. Oh hey it's a Team Science member. :P


      Wait, how the hell do you have a scientific experiment then if different things will happen every time you do something with the same inputs involved?

    3. A variable has changed though, at least for me. Not the same input.

      Independent variables:
      If I was tired before hand that is one kind of independent variable
      If I was not tired beforehand that is a change in the independent variable.

      The dependent variable can be amount of sleep I get or how fast I fall asleep depending on what independent variable happened.

      (I did a Master's Thesis for Psychology. Not for sleep though)

    4. ...Tell me more this is interesting. :o

    5. It was on spelling mistake detection based on how a sentence is structured.

    6. You know, one sentence isn't really satisfying my interest.

      So if the independent variable is the same (tired beforehand or not) then the outcome should always be the same?

    7. (Not part of my thesis but explaining more about independent variables and such).

      It should be for a majority amount of times the same reaction which is called testing for significance. Usual significant levels are .05 (95% chance of being true) or .01 (99% chance of being true). If not significant a good research paper will indicate it as such but will discuss the trends they find anyway.

      Reasons of non-significance may be due to confounding variables which researchers try to eliminate as much as possible but sadly there is limits. A good research paper will discuss these limitations and why their research either was flawed or why something was not significant.

      Say for some reason I was really tired before hand but there was some confounding variable such as me being nervous for tomorrow. And then the next day I was studied again I was not nervous at all. These confounding variables got in the way and affected results. Me being nervous is not part of the study but it is really hard to eliminate such a confounding variable.

    8. Ooooooh I know what you're talking about I loved taking Stats. ^.^
      Significance testing. <3

      Well did you at least RECOGNISE the confounding variable and throw out the data? And how ethical is it to throw out possibly contradictory data because of what you declare to be a confounding variable? Is that data still put in an appendix or saved somewhere?

      (So about your thesis...)

    9. The result section in a peer reviewed paper is to put all data found, even ones researchers found go against their hypothesis. It is alright to admit when a hypothesis is not supported. Sometimes it is okay to leave out outliers depending on circumstances but it should be indicated that it has been done so. Discussion section is to explain what the data found might be pointing to and to discuss limitations and possible confounding variables. Peer reviewed means that the paper can be scrutinized by others.

      I used SPSS. Fun times.

      My thesis was on similarly spelled words (such as dairy vs diary) put in error in sentences ("I wrote a dairy" rather than "I wrote a diary") and how easily the errors are proofread based on how the sentences are structured. "I wrote" means that the next thing should be something that can be written on and dairy is probably less likely to be something you can write on, can people find that error?

    10. So if people don't do that, then they're bad scientists, right? But then how do we know if something is excluded and they don't mention it? No one knows the truth! (Besides the dudes who did it and they're hiding it.)
      (This should go under the Science vs. Art article.
      By the way, Monday's article is NOT gonna be related to Splatfest in any way. I think.)

      Ew, IBM product.

      Oooh. Wot were the results? That kinda thing is critical to quality assurance of things, such as KoopaTV articles! That's totally relevant. :o

    11. That software was already installed in the college system. Don't look at me. And yes, IBM has a disgusting history. I believe SPSS was not a part of IBM until IBM gobbled them up (in other words they bought the license to SPSS and look we made it relevant to eating again).

      And eventually the truth will always come out. A part of science is that results should also be replicated (does not have to be the same number but similar enough results) and if it is not replicated, hahahaha. Unless there is a huge conspiracy but Ace Attorney taught me that even then the truth will one day come out.

      I forgot to mention another variable is the frequency of the word (has been years since I done this thesis so yes I forgot a lot about my study, whoops). So another set such as "calm" vs "clam" has "calm" being even more frequency in everyday language usage than "clam". The results are that low frequency words (clam) replaced by a high frequency word (calm) in a sentence where it is inappropriate for the error word to be there has the less detection rate and a high frequency word (calm) replaced by a low frequency word (clam) in a sentence where it is inappropriate for the word to be there has a higher detection rate. And I hope I typed that all correctly. Because even my mentor and I had to make sure we did not inadvertently make "correct" sentences for this setting.

      And depending on sentence structure, the variable is word predictability. So it is "I milked a cow in a diary/dairy" which is considered the more predictable sentence because you will expect to milk a cow in a dairy in while a sentence structured like "In the diary/dairy I milked a cow" you have no idea what will be coming up after dairy/diary so less predictable. It looks like predictability overall did not have a significant effect but detection rate was higher for finding inappropriate low frequency words in unpredictable sentences.

      Interesting how I remembered the part about context of the sentence but it did not matter so much at the end but forgot about the frequency of the word itself (which did matter the most). Hahahaha.

    12. Yeah, SPSS was its own company until IBM ate it. Which is pretty much the case for the majority of the things IBM has. They eat innovators and ruin them.

      Before the truth comes out, a lot of people will be mislead. Some people might even think that new (factual) truth is the real conspiracy or they might never hear the revision.
      I guess independent variable better lead to the same dependent variable or else being replicated would never happen.

      I dunno, I was thinking if you spent a whole semester or year or wotever on one big project you'd remember it better. :)

      So basically, more people would detect the error in the first of the next two sentences than the second?

      Ludwig went catching calms but he doesn't know why since it's not his livelihood and he doesn't eat them.
      Ludwig hasn't been clam all month because he has been worried about what the hell happened to his coworker RawkHawk2010.

      Did you have to screen test subjects to make sure they weren't clam collectors or dairy farmers? Because that'd skew the frequency.

    13. Word frequency mattered more than sentence context at the end and because the less frequent word "clam" replaced more frequent "calm" at the second sentence there may be a chance the second sentence may have the word error detected more. Word frequency effects may be because when you see a highly frequent word you tend to ignore it but when you see an uncommon word you may slow down.

      Test subjects were intro to psychology students who got their course credit for participating.

      Also do you plan to do an article on the Japanese Splatfests such as Grasshoppers vs Ants (Grasshoppers won in in both popularity and wins)? The real theme of that Splatfest is not which insect you prefer but it is based on that fable and Team Grasshoppers are supposed to represent those players who leave their work to the last minute while Team Ants represented those who are diligent in their work. But perhaps there was confounding variables involved anyway such as maybe Grasshoppers are preferred as a species (like the anime Kamen Rider which I never saw but read is popular and has the grasshopper motif for the main character).

    14. ........Something about the first sentence in the first paragraph there doesn't make sense.

      So you didn't screen the students? You think that could impact your results?

      I have no plans to write about Grasshoppers vs. Ants. I'm not sure how many Japanese folks realised this hidden meaning. This is the first time anyone has mentioned this fable to me, 'cause no one in the Western side of things talkin' 'bout this Splatfest has talked about that.

      Japan seems very food-based. >.>

      But hey if you want a discussion on that here you're free to write a guest post yourself. :)
      Meanwhile I don't find insects very interesting. :o
      (Pikmin 2 Piklopedia aside.)

    15. Probably. We write on the paper where we recruit our participants from so future readers know that that can be a form of bias as well. Also the thesis is unpublished so it is not going to a popular magazine anyway. It's more of a assignment for college though if it is found people are more then welcome to use it (it would be cited as unpublished in the reference section).

      I'm predicting Hare vs Tortoise some time in the future because it comes from the same source Grasshopper vs Ant comes from . Do not know which region but most likely either Japan or NA. The theme is do you do go quickly through what life has to offer or do you take things one at a time slow and steady? (If this theme happens I am predicting you would go for Tortoise because your favorite characters are shelled creatures).

      Also I would assume the movie Bug's Life would make people familiar with the Grasshopper and Ant fable.

    16. If it's unpublished is that equivalent to citing Wikipedia in your references section?

      I'll hold you to that prediction.
      And yes, I'd go for Tortoise. I also fit that personality/life view as well. :o

      A Bug's Life was many years ago. Most people who play Splatoon were probably not born yet. :o
      ...I haven't thought about A Bug's Life in like... a decade and a half.

    17. I would not consider it like a mere Wikipedia article. I used actual references for my paper when I compared my study to previous studies and I followed procedures to get results as accurate as I could to the biases but also discuss possible confounding variables/limitations anyway. My study has to pass ethical guidelines. My thesis also had to pass with two other professors one of them who is the head of the department. An unpublished thesis could help guide researchers who want to study the same hypothesis to a far better experiment with far better control over confounding variables as they have grant money (better funding).

      Predicting people would go for what animal they prefer over the idea behind the animal and hares would be far more popular because of BUNNIES! It's up to Tortoises to show that they live up to their philosophy of slow and steady as they slowly take back the tuft the bunnies took over quickly at the start of the match and unleash their Inkstrikes at the very end of the match to turn the tides and have a better win percentage which may over come the popularity percentage.

      Also Japan's Splatfest has not been announced yet. It usually would be announced soon. If it is not announced sometime soon is Nintendo trying to synchronize all regions' Splatfests or are they going to do a special worldwide Splatfest event?

    18. But if some professional scientist dude in a journal cited your unpublished paper, would it get any respect?
      So did your study do anything new or did it just repeat previous studies? When I hear that people in sciences have to do a study to graduate I always think the hardest part would be coming up with something to study, since I assume it has to be original?

      I-I don't use a weapon with Inkstrikes. ;-;
      You know, I don't think Team Art used many Inkbrushes. So Team Tortoise wouldn't just be Dynamo Rollers, right? :o
      But hopefully the Tortoise thing would help folks realise that you shouldn't overextend your area of dominance and to just make sure you conquer the middle section of turf. That's all you need to win.

      Um... I dunno the answer to that, though it makes me wonder how long they plan to support Splatfesting.


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