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Do you play games stoned?

2 min read


We’re in no way condoning drug use, but a significant number of gamers prefer to play their videogames when they’re off their pips; fogged up in a marijuana-induced oblivion. They say that smoking weed before grabbing their controllers or manning their keyboards allows them to focus on the task at hand; killing n00bs, beating times and getting high scores. The chaps at Vice did some testing in the name of science, to see if their scores and times were better, or worse under the influence of weed.

According to some literature, Cannabis can be a performance enhancing drug. And no, not just in eating competitions.

Clearly, cannabis induces euphoria, improves self-confidence, induces relaxation and steadiness… Cannabis enhances sensory perception, decreases respiratory rate and increases heart rate; increased bronchodilation may improve oxygenation of the tissues… based on current animal and human studies as well as on interviews with athletes and information from the field, cannabis can be performance enhancing.

Does that enhanced performance carry through to games?

Vice’s Jagger Gravning and some friends got hold of some pot, got stoned, loaded up some games and tested their average times and scores against the same games when stone-cold sober. The results were a little interesting. For the most part, their scores were roughly the same; sometimes worse, sometimes better. What’s interesting though is that they felt like they were doing better even when they weren’t.

Here are the comparative scores.

Super Hexagon (average of three plays sober, three plays stoned. The game score is a timer to see how many seconds you can last before hitting the walls of a spiraling maze.)

  • Me sober 4.03 seconds / stoned: 4.03 seconds
  • Dutch Mogul sober: 3.44 seconds / stoned: 5.19 seconds
  • Ben sober: 5.92 seconds / stoned: 6.38 seconds
  • Brian sober: 2.32 seconds / stoned: 3.87 seconds

Tetris DS

  • Me sober: 13,766 / stoned: 15,360
  • Dutch Mogul sober: 40,338 / stoned: 97,462
  • Ben sober: 65,095 / stoned: 56,447
  • Brian sober: 18,860 / stoned: 15,843 (Brian said he felt he was doing much better stoned at Tetris, and was surprised to see at the end that he was not. “I thought I was in control of my own destiny,” he said dejectedly.)

Pac-Man Championship Edition CX+

  • Me sober: 989,120 / stoned: 968,540.
  • Dutch Mogul sober: 558,830 / stoned: 635,350
  • Ben sober: 1,104,470 /  stoned: 836,200

It may have little impact on scores or ability, but it certainly helps some people enjoy the game more. Do you play games while high? Do you find you play better or worse when you’re blitzed? Perhaps our very own, very scientific study is in order.

Last Updated: May 26, 2014

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