As a professional gamer, my recent onset of motion sickness has qualified me for disability benefits.
I guess it would be difficult to pinpoint the exact date, but I first noticed it at a local tournament at the LANCenter across from GameWorks. During a particularly intense Soldier of Fortune contest, I suddenly felt as though the floor beneath my feet were swimming and swaying. Then it seemed to me like the frame of my monitor was rocking back and forth as I moved my mouse. Before I really could put my finger on what was wrong, I leaned over and vomited.
I’m not certain what would cause the onset of motion sickness late in life, however, as you can imagine, it has profound ramifications for my chosen career. You see, I’m a professional gamer.
Unreal Tournament 2003 was released and I began a strict regimen of training, knowing that this was to be the next de-facto deathmatch and team game. However, thanks to the fast pace, smooth framerate, and colorful graphics, my problem only intensified.
At this point, I can’t even look at a flag without succumbing to the hurl.
The Welfare office was white with a sea of faded carpeted cubicles undulating under the glare of probing fluorescent lights. The woman handling my claim couldn’t find my career in her career database, so we had to fill out a special exception under the heading “Professional Athlete.” When she asked to describe the problem I gave her a detailed description of the Technicolor yawn. Problem was, she couldn’t quite understand what a professional gamer did.
Fortunately I brought my Unreal Tournament 2003 disks with me, and seeing that her office was equipped with surprisingly contemporary hardware, I installed it for her. I couldn’t even look at the screen as she tooled around shooting rockets on an empty map. But she still didn’t understand how I could play it as a sport, and by this time a crowd had gathered around her cubicle.
So I installed the game on everyone’s machine, and showed them how to start a giant team game. Then their departmental senior supervisor stepped in to intervene. “Okay, Disability Claims and Adjustments on the Red Team! Unemployment Benefits on the Blue Team!” he shouted, standing on a desk.
They whooped and hollered for over an hour, ignoring the ringing phones and line of people outside reception. The whole time, I was doubled over the paper recycling bin, emptying the contents of my stomach, ‘cuz everywhere I looked Egyptian textures were whirling across a flickering screen. It was humiliating and degrading.
But now I get a check for like ten grand a month. God bless the system.
What am I going to do when my benefits run out? Maybe, like a professional football player, I'll become a TV announcer.
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