Mechanics of Being Sick

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The recent lack of new content on this site was mostly due to me getting sick with what was perhaps the worst bout of tonsillitis I’ve ever had in my entire life. It pretty much had me down and out for most of the month, since I actually technically had it twice. However, this post is not merely for making excuses, but also to talk a bit about how my fever-laden brain compared being sick to playing a video game with its various mechanics, as well as my subsequent failure.

At first, I thought of writing something about the best games to play while sick, but that quickly got scrapped since it’s hard to play or even remotely enjoy anything when you’re feeling absolutely horrendous. Maybe Journey could’ve made that list, but I doubt the quality of playing any game while lethargic and in pain. I also think there’s a bit of a difference between being sick as a kid or adolescent and as a full-fledged adult, with the latter being harder on the body and mind. As far as the idea of gaming while sick goes, it’s just out the window.

Allow me to talk out of my ass in this blog entry about being horribly sick and thinking about it as a game of sorts, because that’s the kind of person I am.

DISCLAIMER: It’s imperative that you seek professional medical help when you come down with any form of severe illness. I’m well aware that what I went through could’ve been less agonizing if I went to a doctor and got a prescription for something substantially better than what I scrounged up, so please don’t do what I foolishly did.

Somehow, I got the idea of treating my own illness as some sort of roguelike role-playing/management game. I had to take medicine and do certain tasks at regular intervals, as well as assess my progress each day and planning where to go from there. There was also a set time limit since it was tonsillitis, so I was set for a 10-day ordeal, even if I were to take the most potent antibiotic in the land. That looks a lot like the mechanics of a roguelike to me.

But of course, that’s when the roguelike mechanics did kick in; all those variables and unavoidable circumstances that sprung up during the whole ordeal. Amid the malaise, I couldn’t eat proper food due to not being able to swallow without tremendous pain. Circumventing these inconveniences and remedying the pain helped me learn new things on what I was dealing with, similar to playing a game I haven’t gone through before.

However, on the fifth day, I hit the proverbial quit button. Pessimism was at an all-time high and I had to tap out. This 29-year-old boy then had to ask my mother for help. For the next few days, I was once again a sick child being nursed back to health. Perhaps the good thing that came out of it was bonding with my mother, although at the cost of my own self-belief.

But then again, that’s what happens when a singleplayer campaign goes awry right in the middle and you had to look for cheat codes.