I've only had two sleepless nights in my life: one when I was 15 years old when I found myself unable to turn off my Super Nintendo, the other when my youngest daughter was born. But there are people who play video games for whole nights as adults, who can even play for 24 hours without sleep and... stay fit for the next few days.
I've been covering video game news since 2008, I founded my own website in 2019, I have my YouTube channel, two podcasts, I've tested dozens, even hundreds of games over the years and despite that, I've never gone 24 hours without sleep as part of my video game passion.
But there are people who do, for various reasons.
Here is a portrait of those streamers who play without stopping for many hours.
24h Without Sleep to Support an Organization
Recently, many streamers have been playing for long hours without stopping (and without sleeping) at the Z Event in France. Let's specify that this is a project created by the duo Adrien Zerator Nougaret and Alexandre Dachary in order to support a charity where participants broadcast live content for more than 50 hours.
For this edition, the Z Event raised the impressive sum of 5,724,377 euros between October 16 and 18, 2020 (this means 105,000 euros per hour, 2,000,000 euros from the sale of t-shirts and masks). All of which were donated to Amnesty International. A very impressive amount indeed!
Let's mention, among others, the streamer Jean Massiet who made the 11-hour flight in real-time from Manhattan to Kabul in the game Flight Simulator.
Not Sleeping to Raise Funds
In 2018, the Arcade Québec podcast team participated in the event La Console qui Console for a 12-hour Twitch broadcast. "We didn't think it was going to be this hard," said Stéphane Goulet, host of the podcast.
The best way to achieve this (in my opinion) during a team broadcast is to make a precise plan and ideally, to take turns sharing the broadcast. While one team member plays and hosts, the other one rests.
"Broadcasting live content is not like playing alone at home, you have to interact with the people watching, be constantly entertaining, interesting, and relevant."
Stéphane mentioned that he felt some effects on his sleep for the next few days. "I was burned stiff for two days!", he said.
A Long Stream Means Good Planning
Some players only do it on special occasions, like the video game blogger Mélanie Boutin-Chartier who did a 24h without sleep for the Extra Life Organization. But this requires good planning :
"Our challenge was to play video games for 24h, but without a fixed schedule (so we could decide which moment was ideal for us to start). To make things easier for me, I decided to do it on a Saturday from 9am to 9am. That way, I went to bed earlier on Sunday, not too far off my normal schedule. In order to stay awake while playing, I would play in a well-lit room. I also had the idea to close the curtains so I couldn't see outside. That way, I lost a certain notion of time and didn’t think too much about it. Maybe it was psychological, but it worked for me."
The video game blogger Mélanie Boutin-Chartier
I guess good nutrition must be essential?
"I was sticking to coffee, water, and had prepared snacks in advance, pre-cut fruits and vegetables to eat at the same time. I still took the time to make a sandwich; nothing too heavy but still enough not to be hungry afterward."
It can't be that easy to spend 24h without sleep playing video games?
"The last few hours are the most difficult for sure. At that point I felt very tired and that I lacked energy. I remember falling asleep playing this Nintendo 3DS game until a donation notification sound woke me up. In those kinds of events, people follow us and encourage us regularly. They wish us a good night and good morning when they get up, it's a lot of fun!"
Would you be willing to try it again?
"24 hours without sleep is hard, but 12 hours is perfect. I can get up as usual and just play all day and go back to bed at night. And collecting money for such charitable organizations is very stimulating."
24 Hours Without Sleep... Just For Fun
There are also Twitch pro-gamers who broadcast for 24 hours without sleep just for the love of video games. For the simple pleasure of playing and for their fans. There is an audience for this and many players watch these broadcasts.
Think about the famous Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, which already had more than 4000 hours of live Twitch broadcasts in 2018. This man earns several millions annually by living off his passion for video games.
Stéphane, Jean-François and Guillaume of Arcade Québec
The Arcade Québec team also broadcast for several hours for various events at the LVLOP in Quebec City.
Let's think of a special Saint-Jean-Baptiste evening with Quebec games in the spotlight. Or the Assassin's Creed Odyssey’s big launch party for which they broadcast for nearly eight hours live.
For the latter, even if this 8-hour broadcast was demanding, they were particularly well-organized, everything was planned (I can testify to this since I was there). This kind of event is the perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face with a Twitch gamer or a complete team of streamers.
Being a Pro Gamer on Twitch
With nearly four million players playing and streaming content on Twitch, it's no easy task to find an audience!
How many of them may not sleep for 24 hours to attract their fans? I have no idea, but it's definitely a small percentage. We know that there are on average more than 55,000 live channels at any given time, so out of the 9 million Twitch channels created, there are definitely a few streamers who are ready to broadcast for hours and hours to share their passion.
I've even heard of people who've gone more than 48 hours without sleep for their Twitch broadcast, just to get a reaction and raise people's interest. Bad idea, since not getting enough sleep for such long periods of time can have great negative consequences on the body.
Whether you are a professional streamer or simply decide for fun to broadcast your 24h-without-sleep game marathon, good preparation is essential. Carefully choose the right moment, the right games, plan rest periods, hydrate, stretch, plan good snacks to regain energy, surround yourself if necessary, and above all, arrive on D-day in great shape, well-rested.
Are you a Twitch gamer? If so, have you ever not slept for 24 hours to broadcast live content? Was it a good experience? Would I ever do it? I have no idea!