I’ve always loved the puzzle genre of video games. Starting with the Infocomm text adventures of the early 80’s through Myst and similar adventure games in the 90’s to recent classics like Portal, The Talos Principle, and The Witness, I’ve spent thousands of hours of gameplay in this genre.
The United Healthcare Medical Reimbursement Form, though, is in a class by itself. Unlike those other games that transport you to a different world – often a fantastic world where writing words turns into a linking book you can literally jump into, or solving puzzles awakens you to an empty world ready to be repopulated with the brightest minds that survived an apocalypse – the United Healthcare Medical Reimbursement Form takes a more dystopian view. If you don’t fill out the form properly, you won’t be reimbursed for your medical expenses, you’ll go bankrupt, and whatever ailment you were trying to get reimbursed for will likely kill you or at least permanently disable you. If you do succeed, your life returns to normal. No super powers. No fantastical linking books. No rebuilding society. You just don’t immediately die.
And if that wasn’t enough, the gameplay is the same brutal style you may remember from those Ken and Roberta Williams point-and-click adventures where one wrong move early on can keep you from progressing at a later stage. It can be devastating and very time consuming!
From diagnosis to death, my dad’s journey was a callously swift nine months. A strange lump in his thigh turned out to be osteosarcoma, which then...