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What 'Hogwarts Mystery' Has in Common With My Chronic Illness

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Full disclosure. I am a massive Harry Potter fan. I’ve read the books so much that the pages are falling out, and I’m still kind of pissed I never got my Hogwarts letter. So of course when the Harry Potter “Hogwarts Mystery” game came out and I could get finally my wand and board the Hogwarts Express, I was on it like a car bonnet.

A couple of days into the game I started to see posts online of people getting incredibly frustrated with how low the player’s energy level is and how long it takes to complete tasks.

Players have to stop and wait for four minutes for the characters timer to gain another energy point before continuing.

Larger tasks with greater rewards can take all day.

They are down right incredulous to find out it takes energy to “take a break” or “rest.”

Many are calling for the game to be altered to make the game easier to play and more realistic.

But, the thing is, the energy restrictions had barely registered for me, because that is how I live my life. That’s how millions of us live our lives when we’re chronically ill. It’s perfectly normal for me to have to stop what I’m doing because I don’t have enough energy.

I have a condition that means my cells can’t produce energy like it should.

I can’t work, I can’t watch TV, I can only see one friend a month, and I haven’t left the house in three and a half years. There are hundreds of thousands more just like me.

As for the “resting” issue, what most people consider rest and relaxation, like watching TV or playing a game on your phone for example, is another tiring activity for people struggling.

For us, resting is lying down in a darkened room trying to do nothing but concentrate on our breathing, because it’s the only way our energy levels recoup.

What J.K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, and Jam City have inadvertently done is make a perfect example of what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.

As frustrating as it might be for some people, I hope they don’t change it.

It might give them an idea of what it’s like to do it in real life.

Image courtesy of the “Hogwarts Mystery” Facebook page

Originally published: May 1, 2018
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