24 hour marathon in the bag

In my attempts to simulate sensory overload I decided to take part in a 24 hour livestream, playing FIFA. Playing a game for 24 hours with the level of technicality that FIFA can provide was definitely something that I underestimated.
I did my research and made sure I didn’t fall into any pitfalls that would seriously hamper me achieving the goal so I had my meals planned out and made sure I had the right snacks and stuck to water. One small flaw is that it is ideal to start streams not long after you wake up, unfortunately due to time constraints I had to do it on a day I had work so I was up at 0530, went to work and didn’t start the stream until 1400, which saw me flagging before I got halfway through, then again, that wasn’t a bad thing as the experience taught me a lot.
First thing that I noticed was the effect it had on O. Changes in routine are a big thing and often heighten his anxiety. This was evident as there was a big thing about a camera being there, there was hyperactivity, nervous chatter and towards the end a mini meltdown. The meltdown was sort of my fault, but it’s all part of a larger lesson I desperately trying to teach him. For O, everything is about winning and if he doesn’t, it’s the end of the world. To make sure he doesn’t lose, he never challenges himself which of course means that he won’t develop. This of course really grates on me, so I went into a difficulty level that I knew would challenge him, when you enter the draft and choose the difficulty level, at least one game will go one level higher. With my reflexes and senses seriously dulled and O being out of his depth on professional level I knew that we would really be up against it. When they did get their 88th minute winner that bottle of fiz that had been shaking up unleashed itself on camera. We did our best to try and calm him and the only injuries caused were to us… more specifically my wife, he is getting bigger and the lashing out is very worrying.
The effects on O, who had a full nights sleep were pretty clear to see, but what was going on in his mind, I’m not 100% sure, but if it was close to what I felt then my simulation was a success. After a while thinking about the experience I am going to try and explain what I noticed and relate what I can to sensory overload.
As the hours wore on I noticed I had to concentrate more and more, which in turn led to every game becoming more and more draining and more and more mistakes coming into my game. With about 4 hours to go I came to the decision that I could no longer play anyone on-line. By that point, my decision making was almost non-existent, my imagination was completely non-existent and my reflexes were shot to pieces. For the last 4 hours I still played on legendary difficulty and didn’t have any real problems. What I took from this was something I could relate to O. On the surface you wouldn’t see any issue, he follows the pattern, be it, acting how he believes people should act in that situation or using his intelligence to breeze through maths, spellings and the such like. Ask him to make up a story from just pictures… there would be nothing but frustration as there is no pattern to follow. No matter how intelligent AI can get, it still has to run to a pattern, which a human does not, when I reached that point I couldn’t handle the free flowing patterns that a human opponent would use against me yet I could still handle the computer just down to my own experience with the game.
The after effects were quite interesting too, despite giving myself time to rest and recover after the event, they are still noticeable. Obviously tiredness and exhaustion are an obvious effect, I had a 2 hour sleep after the event and a solid 9 hours sleep that night, then a solid nights sleep the night after that. Yet I’m still tired, yawning, eyes watering etc.
My awareness levels are much lower than usual, missing obvious details, dexterity has also taken a hit and moving around has become much harder than before. All this comes with a level of frustration, which I am able to handle being an adult and knowing it is temporary.
Don’t take me wrong, I am not saying I can understand ASC and know what it is like just because of these challenges, that would be highly disrespectful, however, if they can give me glimpse or even an idea of how it may feel to have you senses blown to a point where tasks that I often take for granted are made so difficult, then I would say that I am learning.
I was at a stage where I felt I was in a similar position as to where I see O as far as his imagination levels are, and can see where what I would normally see as common everyday tasks; creating plans on the fly, adapting or looking into the ‘grey area’ if are not an option how frustrating life can be. In all fairness maybe this would have been better written when I was fully recovered, but then again maybe not. The experience was second to none, and no doubt something I would not willingly try again, not just because of the toll on myself but my family too. Hopefully this will give me more understanding of where O is, in his head and maybe even helped one or two more people. My quest to become a better parent continues.
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