Having a chronic pain disorder has affected my ability to play games in ways that I never thought possible. Pressing buttons rapidly cramps my hands. Using my mechanical keyboard can give me repetitive strain injury, and can leave me using wrist splints for weeks to recover. Gaming is a huge part of my life, being a gaming journalist and a Twitch streamer. However, it can be a detriment to my health and I have to be careful in the games I play, the choices I make and the equipment that I use so that I have the safest and most comfortable experience possible.
This wasn’t a problem for me a couple of years ago, but I’ve recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I’ve felt the full effects when trying to play MMORPGs. From being able to spam buttons with no problem when playing tanks in World of Warcraft to suddenly feeling exhausted doing the smallest rotations, I’ve had to carefully consider my classes and what is easiest and most accessible for me.
Let’s talk about World of Warcraft first. This was my introduction to MMOs, and was also my introduction when it came to finding my comfort levels – and knowing when to stop. One thing I truly admire about WoW that a lot of other MMOs don’t allow for is the ability to play on a touchpad. I actually adapted to this style of play from the get-go through poverty and not having access to a desk, instead playing WoW on a laptop in my bed. It’s not the best setup, admittedly, but it worked for me. It’s how I fell in love with the game, and I haven’t stopped since.
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