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 Post subject: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:11 pm 


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Joined: 10 Jan 2008
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Location: Québec
I very rarely drink anything caffeinated and recently played shmups under the "influence" of caffeine and found the results very interesting...

Basically what I noticed is that even though your reaction time feels very good (probably slightly better than usual?) which should help, the brain is also much more prone to "skipping" thoughts or failing to be fully diligent which results in inadvertently moving into lone stray bullets much more frequently. I'd estimate I was about as good as usual at dodging thick and fast patterns, but something like 90% of my deaths were me running into bullets I wasn't "aware" of. or had forgotten about

Any of you have noticed such differences? or if not care to do some testing and reporting the results here? Might also be interesting to see if it helps more with games that are more focused on reaction time (say psikyo games) than games with tons of slow patterns (say touhou)
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:42 pm 


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Don't do drugs, kids.
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:06 pm 


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Joined: 01 May 2014
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Location: Brooklyn NY
I like certain drugs, but excessive drugs and shmups don't mix.

So just say no....to excessive drugs and shmups!
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:00 am 


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Joined: 18 Apr 2019
Posts: 234
Location: NYC
When practicing a game for weeks on end, I often find the mind and body enter a sort of conflicted state. My conscious mind wants to try that tough boss for the fiftieth time, but my primal lizard brain is wondering just what the point is. This is most apparent for me in very repetitive games like older arcade titles (Donkey Kong, Galaga) where I’ll be in control for 40 minutes of perfect rhythm, when suddenly some little whisper in my brain says, “Oh hey, tomorrow we should leave a bit early so we have time to finish that document before the 11:30 review meeting...” aaaaaand I’m dead. And I try to jump back in, but now I’m flustered and will probably die again very soon.

Given that, I find very small doses of certain sedatives or depressants to work wonders: a glass of wine, a bit of CBD, a single shot of vodka. Getting literally dunk or high won’t do you any good, but something to help keep that zen cycle in the mind flowing has been key to many of my best runs.
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:13 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:00 am 



Joined: 26 Jan 2015
Posts: 223
Location: Southern Cali
I see some people are being funny about your question, but I've also actually gave this a little thought before too. When Ive had a lot of caffeine, I play a lot more nervously and over react to bullets. When Im not high on caffeine, I usually am more composed. Interesting topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:29 am 


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Joined: 01 Jan 2010
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Location: Sweden
Yes, i rarely drink coffe but when I do I can feel the effect of it clearly. (And if I drink coffe late in the day there will be no sleep.)
When playing most shmups coffe makes me too twitchy for the larger bullet patterns but when hunting my 1cc in Dangun feveron it really helped.

At 19:08 im dodging bullets and wants to return to the left part of the screen, in my path there is a bullet that I dodge by canceling my left movement, making a small dodge to the right, then continue to move left.
This dodge (At that speed) is normally impossible for me as my brain just wants to continue left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmIf9QyV0_I&t=939s
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:43 am 


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Having a lower social standing increases the likelihood that a copy monkey faced with a stressful situation will choose cocaine over food, according to a new study. More dominant copy monkeys undergoing the same stressful situation had fewer changes in brain activity in areas of the brain involved in stress and anxiety and were less likely to choose cocaine.


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:50 am 


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Joined: 12 Feb 2012
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Location: Romania
Getting excellent sleep is the best performance-enhancing drug, you'll perceive the game as being slower than usual and with no jitters either.


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:40 pm 



Joined: 01 Jul 2019
Posts: 29
I second the recommendation for getting good sleep (and generally keeping yourself in good health, which means excluding high-sugar additive-laden foods from your diet).

But don't drink coffee or energy drinks.

Drink tea which has natural compounds like L-theanine and GABA to offset the jitters.

Also make sure your magnesium levels are straight. Most people are deficient.


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:55 am 


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Not gonna lie, I've played my best when I've been hungover from copious amounts of alcohol. That next day or two after, pretty much all the edge is taken off and I can be laser-focused on whatever I'm playing.

I obviously don't recommend this as a consistent, viable strategy.
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:19 am 


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Joined: 18 Jun 2012
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Location: Chicago, IL
I find myself regularly drinking coffee to relax, as well as coffee while playing shmups. If it has negatively affected me, I don't see it reflected in a lack of scores, lack of 1ccs/1all's, or lack of skill. I think a higher barrier to overcome is the will/desire to play less so than caffeine. Though, don't become over-caffeinated or drink a lot of shitty sugar drinks (I almost drink nothing that has sugar in it).

Unlike others I don't find myself playing better with alcohol, since that tends to dull my reflexes. I don't drink much in any event.
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:52 am 


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Joined: 24 Feb 2011
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EmperorIng wrote:
I find myself regularly drinking coffee to relax.


Caffeine should be having the opposite effect, no?
It sounds like you're using caffeine to nullify the effects of caffeine withdrawal.

A little weed might help you focus if you're a pot-head, for example.
I'm quite an anxious type so a couple of drinks can dull me enough to not be second guessing myself all the time and play with more confidence.

It's a slippery slope though, you'll end up swallowing spiders to catch flies, smoking a little one skinner to help you concentrate, having a little drink to take the edge off.

It's great when you're straight, yeah? Winners don't do drugs, or drinks.

You could argue that drugs might be good for some things, but they're not gonna help you shoot aliens, we need you clean and serene, soldier!


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:16 am 


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No gear for me, thanks. I don't want to end up like a bloody piano dentist.

clippa wrote:
It's great when you're straight, yeah? Winners don't do drugs, or drinks.


Some say coffee's a drug. It's not a drug, it's a drink! Image
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:40 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:15 pm 


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Joined: 20 Oct 2013
Posts: 30
Energy drinks and coffee get me too hyper since I'm sensitive to caffeine but I've found nicotine works pretty well for concentration while gaming. It's always nice to throw in a dip before an extended shmup session. Was just wondering whether it actually affects performance so I did a search and while it increases attention, focus, speed, memory and motor skills, it also cuts blood circulation which isn't good for the tendons and muscles of the hand and wrist. Interesting.

https://cyberathletiks.com/should-gamer ... nd-gaming/
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 Post subject: Re: Caffeine and shmup performance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:04 pm 



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 66
Location: UK
Very, very interesting topic. I can't really say much about caffeine (only drink it when I know I am a little tired), but as I've aged I've noticed the detrimental effects of too much sugar on my energy levels and general mood, especially when you get the inevitable energy crash later on, you become dopier and more irritable, which do not help when playing difficult games at all.

Sidenote: I remember getting stoned (rarely do this either) a couple of days after getting Ikaruga waaaay back in '02. That was hilarious!


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