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nekobun avatar 6:50 PM on 03.24.2010  (server time)
Bottom five healthcare systems in videogames

The US government has made it clear that healthcare in this country's gotta change, and how. Jim Sterling already provided some insight into what may be in store with the recently-passed legislation, through the filter of video games, but I'm here to remind you all that what we're getting away from could have been much, much worse.

If art truly does imitate life, you can be glad your life isn't one of the ones imitated by these examples, some of the worst takes on healthcare featured in games.

The Legend Of Zelda series

Relying on a single, relatively scarce race of beings to provide healing to anyone who might ask is a dicey proposal to begin with; fairy springs in any iteration of Hyrule tend to be remote enough to be inconvenient at best. That, and anywhere from Link To The Past on, trips to the fairies inevitably result in a) the oppression and enslavement of the fae, primarily by stuffing them in empty bottles, or b) severe childhood psychological trauma.

Sure, there's an alternative in the realm of potions, but that tends to lead to deals with witches for "special powder," and I think we all know what that means.

I'm going to assume, based on The Legend Of Neil, that all Zelda fairies look like Felicia Day, and keeping her in a bottle would just be mean. Moving on.

Resident Evil series

The Umbrella Corporation, cumulatively, is a corporate nightmare, even if you look beyond the whole "turned everyone into zombies" thing. Internal bickering, crazy conspiracies, (literal) backstabbing, and unethical experimentation and practices did a great deal more to bring the company down than did getting an entire city blown up.

Certainly a bunch of fellows you'd want holding your life in their hands. I'll take the guys with extra letters after their names who are pretty clear about going into the job for the money, be it at their own or their parents' behest.

Dr. Mario

Research has shown, on repeated occasions, that just throwing pills at a problem cannot truly solve anything. However, this seems to be the only thing "Doctor" Mario Mario is capable of doing. I put "doctor" in quotes because Mr. Mario's medical education and training history is highly questionable, if not entirely fabricated. The man hasn't even recieved any schooling in pharmaceuticals, his sole means of treatment! Dr. Mario is many a malpractice suit just waiting to happen. It's enough to make one consider homeopathic treatment and other bongwater cures.

Phantasy Star II

The hospitals of today are really grand, whether or not your medicine happens to be socialized. Ailments across the board are treatable at most any hospice, with specialists on hand for more niche afflictions, and entire facilities devoted to certain ills all across the world.

In the distant future, however, it would appear humanity has decided to throw any sense or convenience out the window in regard to medical care, opting instead to split the all-encompassing hospital into multiple, usually widely separated, establishments. Items for healing and recovery are sold in their own special shop which, for whatever reason, is further separated from shops stocking weapons and armor. Doctors can still be visited at a clinic, but about all that can be done is the restoration of one's general health. And, finally, despite having conquered death, still another building must be sought out, bod(y,ies) in tow, to bring your friends back to life.

You'd think, in a future where distant planets are just as much a home to humanity as Earth, and lasers and space travel and all sorts of wonders are common occurances, that we might have pared down some of the excesses of medical treatment. So much for that. Paying for one, and just one, ambulance ride doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

Chrono Trigger

290 years from now, the Earth will lie in ruins. Arable land will be a rarity, and never outdoors. Starvation will run rampant, but humankind shall live on, thanks to the scientific wonder that is the Enerton. A self-contained, one-person pod, this miracle device can cure what ails you and leave you well-rested in a matter of seconds, but will do nothing for an empty stomach.

Research apparently got poured into this, sentient robotics, and little else between the year 1000 AD and the future. Instead of looking into ways to heal the planet, restore it to its former viability, and lift both the literal miasma and the fog of despair from its inhabitants.

Thanks, you idiots. Even Star Trek managed to conjure up food replicators when they started to get all fancy with their "stardate" crap. This is just as bad an idea as deciding to live on coffee and energy drinks forever rather than stopping to sleep every night. No wonder Lavos was left unmolested for the entire history of Man. Be glad you get dinner and dreams every evening.

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