292/365 – Meditation Games #292 – Helpless At The Hospital

Developer: axoona

Launcher Quote: “There are times when you might feel completely helpless and yet your presence will make a difference.

A few years ago my son who was just a few weeks old at the time was transferred by ambulance to intensive care nursery in a life-threatening condition. He was suffering from severe pain and fever.

At the hospital, they were giving him medicine, paracetamol and morphine at regular intervals. He was connected to all sorts of very fragile cables and tubes that I would tore off just by holding him. Most of the time he would scream from pain with all his forces. It was heartbreaking.

The staff were extraordinary, really thoughtful. We’ve spent several days in quarantine in the small room. His illness was a threat to other newborns at the hospital.

I can still remember the anguish, remorse and exhaustion I felt at the time. I just gave birth to this little human being and I was risking of losing him so soon. I couldn’t feel more helpless.”

One of the worst things that you can do to someone is take away their agency to do something, to make choices and perform actions that change or fix the fate of one’s own situation. If you are helpless, unable to do anything but watch as something unfolds in front of them, it’s sometimes worse than having the choice to do something bad, because at the very least, you’d be able to do something, anything, to try to change things. Add to that a situation where someone you care about and love is in peril and it gets exponentially worse – and the feeling of helplessness that follows

This entry plays out a situation that was definitely one of the worst situations to feel helpless in, as the developer was forced to take their newborn infant to the hospital under a life-threatening set of circumstances. The game plays out like a mini-adventure first person game, with you watching your child be cared for in a quarantined room, the only things that you could see in the small space that moved being your child, the nurse, and of course, you. You’re left to wander around the room, do a little mild interaction, but otherwise have to watch, wait and of course, look with concern to your child, who’s had to be hooked up to machines and feeds. It’s a bit of a difficult experience as you watch the scenes unfold, but are not really able to do much of anything, and that’s part of the point – only being able to try to provide some kind of comfort but otherwise being helpless to do anything is a mixture of emotions that the developer’s trying to show you.

In the end, even if it works out, the experience at the time is no less worrying or harrying. It’s hard to kind of convey that if you haven’t been there, but the developer does a pretty good job of trying to show it in a 5 minute game experience. There’s no solution for that feeling of helplessness, that feeling of not being able to do much but watch and be supportive for someone you love – but sometimes that there isn’t and that you have to only do what you can even in a limited fashion is the message being sent.

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