Why Do People Feed Their Virtual Chickens in Farmville at Night? Medical Education: Game On!
The video game industry is one of the fastest growing industries, and has undergone significant changes from the early days of Atari. Games are now developed for multiple sectors, including healthcare, and generate more revenue than the movie and music industry. Last year, the total revenue generated from games in the U.S. eclipsed to $23.5 billion, jumping 5% from a year earlier. A big part of that increase is due to a shift away from physical games towards digital software. Indeed, gaming and simulations appear to be able to engage people in ways that traditional education or e-learnings, often mere ‘pdf’s behind glass’, cannot.
Serious games are games that are being developed for purposes other than mere entertainment. If well developed, they are very useful to those who wish to use games for training and education. Well-developed serious games use the principles of playful technology to get an educational message across -without people feeling as though they are being taught. The key is to wrap, or trap, educational content in such a way that it triggers a person’s innate interest to play.
In surgery, compared to traditional training methods, well-designed simulations and games have proven to make for better, more competent surgeons indeed. It is important to state that one should not build a game scenario just because it is ‘cool’. You have to solve a real problem or alleviate a real need, and you need to stake your claim.
In order to get you started, I challenge you to think about the reason why so many people do feed their virtual chickens in Farmville at night!”
Full Professor of Surgery Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Prof. Schijven is known for her publications in the area of surgery (achalasia and reflux disease), m-health, e-health, wearable technology, medical education and simulation technology. She is an expert in the area of virtual reality medical simulation, serious gaming, validation studies and validation processes; and guides many PhD residents on these topics. She was the first surgeon livestreaming an abdominal operation to YouTube directly using GoogleGlass.
Twitter: @marliesschijven and @googleglasssurg