The PainStation

Almost every night, while we eat dinner, A and I watch our favorite subscriptions on YouTube. Usually Lets Plays from various gamers.

Last night, we were watching the Achievement Hunter’s video: Let’sPlay The PainStation. I’ve embedded the video in case you want to watch, but will put a synopsis below the video in case you don’t.

In the video the Achievement Hunters challenge each other to a game of pong, using the art exhibit The PainStation. Each player must keep one hand on the “pain execution unit” – a metal grate on the side of the game, while playing. When a player misses, and the ball hits one of the designated “punishment” blocks, the player is subjected to either: 1) exposure to heat, 2) electrical shock,or 3) being whipped with a small wire whip. None of the “punishments” are intended to cause damage to the player, but can build in intensity and apparently become quite painful.

What I found most interesting in watching the video was how quickly the players become distracted, and how quickly their ability to play the game decreases. I couldn’t help but think the PainStation serves as an effective example of how hard it is to think clearly and concentrate while in pain; something those of us with chronic pain do every day- or nearly every day, and often at a higher intensity or greater range than was applied by the PainStation.

It was a timely reminder to myself as I grow more and more frustrated with my ability to think clearly and work effectively as I would like. It is remarkable that we get through every day as we do.

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