How to Use a Game to See Someone’s Pain
Ever use a game to see someone’s pain? More about that later. First, let me ask you something. When was the last time you saw an athlete break a leg?
It’s pretty frightening to think about, isn’t it? And if you’re like most people, you can be emotional – and you’d rather not go through the experience. Because when you see an athlete, especially one you admire, get hurt it’s almost like it’s happening to you.
Consider this account:
Kevin Ware, guard for the Louisville Cardinals, had jumped to block a shot thousands of times in practice and in games. Landing on one foot or two, twisting away or turning into an opponent was an instinctive act, not requiring thought, just body reaction. But in front of a packed house and millions more watching on television and the internet in 2013, Ware came down on one leg with just the right (or wrong) angle, torque, and amount of force that the leg gave way and the crowd hushed. The leg is not meant to bend at such an awkward angle and the bone is not meant to be pushed through the skin. Disaster had struck. 
Unless your heart is made of stone you felt Kevin Ware’s pain
You showed empathy.
Empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of the other person. A report suggests that doctors do the following:
“To show true empathy to your patients, you must step back and imagine yourself in the sort of pain they describe day in and day out and then think of how you would want to be treated. That is empathy. Not a tilt of the head or a half-smile or a few practiced reassuring words — but making the patient feel like even though you can’t understand or imagine what they’re going through, you believe them and want to help them.” 
See The Scars
It is, of course, much easier to feel someone’s pain if you can see the physical scars.
When You Can’t See The Scars
Take a look at this woman
She looks perfectly fine, right? However, she suffers from chronic back pain. As she says in the short film no one can see any of her aches and pains. She asks, “how can you believe me if I say my back hurts —all over all the time—? No one can point to anything.” She laments that if she had a disfiguring condition that people could see, they would believe her and not think it’s all in her head.
Another chronic pain sufferer describes her condition as feeling like:
Yet another states:
Evening You try to watch TV, but your legs are burning, you have tingling in your toes and are just uncomfortable. Sometimes family and/or friends join in to make it a good night. You get a few “Oh you look good, are you getting better?” You do everything you can to not jump up and attack that person… Instead you mutter something or just look the other way.
The bottom line is this: just because you can’t see someone’s pain doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Use Tech to See Other’s Pain
What if there was technology that would enable you to see the pain of others. In short, a game that fosters empathy for chronic pain sufferers.
On Feb. 25, 1916, Simon Fraser University located in BURNABY, British Columbia, issued a press release that three graduate students had devised an interactive game to help non-patients empathize with chronic pain sufferers.
“The goal of our game is to help put others into the shoes of those dealing with chronic pain,” says Xin Tong, who developed the game with colleagues Weina Jin and Servet Ulas.” 
How The Game Works
The creators of the game ,in describing how it works, state :
In the game, participants interact with their altered virtual body — a silhouette they see in a virtual mirror — and complete object-oriented motor tasks. Then, using their whole body, they reach out to connect dots into a line which forms a meaningful shape related to a chronic pain experience.
“Pain randomly attacks different parts of the body. In our game, we make pain visible with visual particle motions — they look a little like a glowing red ‘cloud’ ” Ulas explains. “The pain limits body movement and hinders the participant from reaching some of the dots.”  For more information, check out the game in the video below.
Now you know how to be more empathic with someone who suffers from chronic pain. You can offer support not based on pity but on a renewed understanding of what life is like when one lives with daily pain. You understand that just because a pain sufferer felt good yesterday doesn’t mean he or she feels good today. You understand now, perhaps for the first time, what it feels like to suffer in silence. You understand how devastating it feels when a pain sufferer thinks he or she can’t be counted on because their pain always gets in the way. You understand what it feels like to live in isolation.
You have learned the most important lesson a non-patient needs to know. Chronic pain may be invisible, but it’s there all the time. The best thing you can do for a pain sufferer is to tell them that you believe them. As for those who live with chronic pain, I leave this inspirational video that has a simple but powerful message: Life is worth living. I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.
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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.