(This is Boss Dungeon’s new feature, where you lovely creatures will get to know us by way of learning about our bodily “flaws” or personal/family issues, and how gaming made them better. Sometimes these stories will be somber, and sometimes humorous. The title should help you figure out which direction my offering is going.)
Since the dawn of (my) time (on this Earth), I have been known to both my family and friends as the pooper. Everyone knows that when I eat, I have about t-minus ten minutes til I have to get to the restroom. And when I’m in there, I’m in there for a quite a while. Have I lost you yet? Have you sworn off all of my articles forever, with this newfound knowledge of my biological happenings? See ya, I guess. The rest of you who stayed, thanks!
To me, constant churning in my stomach is common. If my stomach isn’t in knots, the day has become a glorious, unfathomable miracle. I never questioned this, and was almost content with this character trait, but as time goes on I realize that this simply isn’t normal. I’ve gone to multiple doctors, and their answer always is the same:
“Zack, you have IBS. There are things you can do to deal with it, but usually it just goes away or the symptoms lessen. Eventually. Maybe.”
I’ve tried medications and enzymes to see if they change anything, but they never make much of an impact either way. I’ve tried watching what I eat, in hopes that there was something specific that was triggering this nuclear intestinal reaction (turns out the culprit is found under the wide umbrella: food). I’ve even tried working out consistently since that’s supposed to help, but I just got sexier and sexier, with no change in my guts.
So, I’ve just planned my life around it. Driving to school? Have a mental list of where I could stop if the belly demons beckon. Usually McDonalds, so they can recycle the waste and put it right back on a sandwich. Walking around at school? Know where the bathrooms are in case I start getting the shit sweats. Try to find the most obscure one so I know there won’t be a line, and therefore no one that I’ll have to obliterate in my crazed hurry. Road trips? Oh man. Let’s just say that those apps that tell you where the nearest toilet is are my best friend.
Oh right, this is supposed to relate to gaming.
When I was a little fella with bowel problems, I didn’t yet have a portable gaming device. Instead I found my love for instruction manuals and strategy guides. I would sit on the pot for an hour, looking at the drawings, reading everything about the game, up to and including the little disclaimers saying you shouldn’t play for too long or with too big of a screen. Even if I wasn’t directly playing video games, I would be lost in Hyrule or Donkey Kong Country, transported there through my porcelain portal.
Eventually I received a Game Boy Color and Pokemon Yellow for Christmas. Everything changed that day. I almost never wanted to leave the crapping chamber. It was a place of guaranteed privacy, with a comfortable seat and good lighting (this was before backlights had been invented), so why would I want to leave? Often I would sit for so long that when I finally got up, I’d have that red circle around my derrière, as if the toilet was a suction cup that had been on my skin for too long. That was the mark of a good gaming session.
Next came the Game Boy Advance, which had one of my favorite portable games of all time, Metroid Fusion. I’ve replayed it countless times…mostly in the poo-poo place.
Then the DS.
Then the PSP.
Then the 3DS.
Then the Vita. Oh the Vita. How I love you so. Such a beautiful piece of hardware. With it’s huge PS1 JRPG library, I have so much to play, so many reasons to be on the doo-doo dock.
I’m sorry if I’ve disgusted anyone, but this is a core part of who I am. I started to hate how bad my belly was for some time, but I don’t think I’d have anywhere near the same amount of portable gaming experience if I had the bowels of someone healthy. So…I guess it’s not too bad. Thank you, awful stomach, for all the times we’ve shared.
And just so you know, I went to the bathroom twice since I started this article. An hour and a half ago.