A new supplement that claims to be “the world’s first energy shot for your brain” promises gamers enhanced performance, improved clarity and quicker reaction times.
GodMode’s target market is gamers, though the company doesn’t further specify whether it’s targeted at professional, competitive or casual gamers. A supplement whose marketing uses such buzz-phrases as “a leveled up brain” and “neurohacking science,” GodMode aims to help its users find their best minds.
Drew Tyler, digital media advisor and communication instructor at Weber State University, said he expects the product answers a demand from within the community. He said supplements targeted at athletes that focus on being “at the top of your game” have become popular recently, and it’s only natural that a similar product would emerge focused on gamers.
“I think it’s a good move marketing-wise, but whether gamers need it or not is questionable,” Tyler said. “Whether it actually enhances performance or is just a placebo effect is yet to be seen.”
Marvin Orrock, pharmacology professor at WSU, seems to lean more toward the product being a placebo effect rather than what it claims to be.
“(GodMode) does contain caffeine and theobromine, which together would be a central nervous system stimulant,” Orrock said. “But they are not demonstrated to be more stimulating than caffeine alone.”
Orrock expressed concern over the product’s marketing, namely on the “seductive approach which this product relies on, yet fails to establish.” He said that its promotion used an inductive approach to establish what should work, such as “listing several compounds that may have a nootropic benefit, but not proven in this formula. GodMode neglected the deductive approach of proving that the product does what the manufacturer claims.”
Colton Bell, a WSU student and member of the university’s eSports gaming league, said he has no knowledge of rules within eSports tournaments and leagues preventing the use of performance enhancing drugs or supplements.
Bell said nearly every gamer has used caffeine at one point or another while gaming, but this product is different.
“My first thought was that it looks like a massive scam,” Bell said. “It seems similar to a caffeine supplement, which is why it says it makes you more alert. I guess if you’ve never had caffeine before and you took one of those pills, you probably would be pretty awake.”
Bell said he doesn’t think the product will catch on at all in the professional gaming community.
“A lot of players have training regimens that focus on keeping their bodies healthy,” Bell said. “I think products like this are almost taboo because some of those professionals are healthy enough that they can play games for long periods without help.”
Tyler, who is also a gamer, wasn’t as sure as Bell about the product’s lack of success among competitive gamers.
“eSports can go either way,” Tyler said. “Teams will either say, ‘Yes, this is something we should try’ or they might call it the lamest thing ever.”
Tyler said that the product may struggle among casual gamers.
“There will be casual gamers who feel that it doesn’t do enough to justify the cost,” Tyler said. “After they start paying for it, they may start to wonder if it’s the pill or just the caffeine that helps.”
Bell and Tyler both said that gamers might have just as much success with Red Bull as they might with GodMode.
Orrock said he hopes educated individuals will be adequately skeptical about this product and make decisions based on evidence and well-supported data.
“Don’t plan on ‘weaponizing your mind’ as the website claims,” Orrock said. “The only weapon evident here is the manufacturer’s weapon of taking your money.”