Digital Narrative Games Pt. 2

Drawn by my brother: Mohamed Mahgoub

Firstly, I got inspired for this topic after seeing this video

The purpose of this game is to put the players in the shoes of the doctors and health care staff who are in the front line of this Covid-19 crisis. We might have heard of some stories and seen some posts, but this game will be different as it will take you in the day of the life of a doctor working in a hospital in April 2020. The game will start from the beginning of the day till the end, the time frame will be day to night (24 hours) from a doctor’s POV.  It was difficult to interview doctors personally, especially thoughs working in hospitals because these are the ones I’m targeting and who have suffered the most. I have gathered secondary research however, where doctors say their personal stories and others who share their experience. However, through my research I have found that it’s not even doctors who suffer the most, but it is the nurses. “1/3 of all corona virus deaths are nursing home residents or workers.” Dr. Frank LoVecchio an emergency medicine doctor says, “I walk in the room and I say hey, sounds like you have covid, and I might order a chest x-ray, I might order blood work, I might order catheters. All that stuff is done by the nurse. I may have spent 10 minutes, the nurse might spend seven or eight hours actually in the room caring for the patients.” These people are over worked and underpaid! A nurse quotes, “12 hours plus shift isolated in a windowless room.” Most secondary sources I relied on were documentaries, interviews, YouTube videos in the hospital showing the real lives of frontlines in Covid-19. As I’m a more visual person and am able to understand and empathize when watching even more than reading. Another great reference is the medical TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. The last season, currently being filmed of the show includes coronavirus and the main character/doctor Meredith Grey gets the virus. We say everything through the eyes of the doctors in the hospitals, one of which is OCD and other battling their own mental health. 

While most of us were binge watching Netflix series at home during that time of the year, these health care workers are working every inch of their body to save lives of people who are very critical and close to death with their very uncomfortable PPE. On the otherhand, we aren’t even able to wear a facemark 2-3 hours straight without taking a breather.

Most common dilemmas from their POV: 

  • A nurse says, “Unless you’re actually in there, you have no idea. Nobody can ever imagine what goes on in there.”
    • “We are the only ones who understand what we are going through, I don’t really want to tell my family about everything because I don’t want them to feel the same emotions that I feel, I don’t want them to know that I carry that burden.” 
  • Fear of not knowing what’s next and having no cure and no answer to what is going on 
  • Hospitals running out of ventilators 
  • My colleagues have already gotten ill, some have already survived and some haven’t (whom here in Egypt they did not want to burry) 
  • You go home to your family/kids/wife who haven’t seen you in days 
  • “Someone codes, someone dies you go on to the next patient, someone codes, someone dies you go on to the next patient. You don’t have the time to process those emotions before you get home.” 
    • “When you get home you finally take a breather and that’s when you get it all out.” 
  • “I can’t give the quality of care that I normally would give”
  • Families cannot be there to comfort patients, so we hold their hands, so no-one dies alone
  • These last couple of months, definitely made me question my career choice”
  • One of their greatest fears is how close they are to the virus, getting it and spreading it to their loved ones. 
  • We call the family to give them the bad news, and inform them their loved one will not make it. Some are angry, some just accept the news, and others cry. 
  • Patient communication is difficult and challenging, they can barely see our eyes and nothing else from or face. 


1 comment

  1. hi Iman – I would much prefer that you interview at least one real doctor or nurse and not base i on Grey’s Anatomy or articles, because you don’t want the game to be stereotyping or caricaturing


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