This interesting post on WRT ponders the case of I Love You, Beth Cooper, a novel that presents its protagonist, Denis Cooverman, with a status bar.
Like a health meter, the reader knows how much body Dennis has
remaining at any given time. Reading the book becomes the experience of
seeing how far we can make our quarter last, how far we have to go
before having to restart the system.
Contrast this with a story like The Quixote, where the Man
of La Mancha is pummeled, broken, twisted, beaten, and has his teeth
knocked out far beyond the typical number of molars and incisors.
Though a health meter hardly promises veritas, it at least guarantees
that the character’s suffering will be restricted to the comically
exaggerated limits of his illustrated body and that the main character
will always be in view. — Mark Marino