Learning blood management in orthopedic surgery through gameplay


Serious games are computer games used for applications unrelated to entertainment or traditional games. Application domains include areas such as flight or driving training, military operations, education, surgery, and general healthcare. Although people typically play games to have fun, gameplaying can also be an intellectual activity because the process is relevant to the pedagogical strategies of active and experiential learning. Game-based learning has also proven effective for knowledge transfer. Games engage players and stimulate their cognitive activities while they solve the problems portrayed in the game-based environment. We adopted the serious-games concept to develop an orthopedic blood management game as a surgical-education training aid. Orthopedic surgery treats the musculoskeletal system, in which bleeding is common and can be fatal. The surgical procedures are highly complex because of the coexistence of various body tissues with heterogeneous mechanical behaviors. Extensive training is therefore a must. With our game, users can learn surgery on their own through predefined game rules. We achieve virtual experiential learning by giving users instant feedback in a game-like manner that rewards players for taking the right steps and punishes them for making virtual mistakes. Users can practice blood management skills at any time in various scenarios; their performance is recorded for evaluation. In addition, we used game technologies to develop an immersive, interactive environment that engages users and motivates them toward self-learning by offering fun experiences in realistic virtual settings.

Selected Publication

  1. J. Qin, Y.P. Chui, W.M. Pang, K.S. Choi, P.A. Heng. Learning blood management in orthopedic surgery through gameplay. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 30, no. 2, March/April 2010, pp. 45-57. [IEEE]