An “Infectious” Video Game…That Won’t Give You a Virus
I haven’t yet started med school, hence the “almost” preceding my “MD,” but as an aspiring doc, I am always interested in the newest ways in which people can learn and teach others. Some people learn best through drawing cartoons and some through comic book stories but sometimes a more interactive approach is necessary. That’s where Microbe Invader comes into play [editor’s note: no pun intended]. This interactive, infectious disease-learning game prompts you to enter your name and gender and VOILA! you are a med student at “Happy Hospital” with a name badge and everything.
My day began peacefully in my home, where I decided I wanted a sandwich before I began my first day of clinical rotations with Dr. Taylor, my infectious disease doc.
But I was hungry and I do my best learning after my morning custard
I quickly realized the custard was bad…
But made it to the clinic after a good bit of time. My attending even gave me a good scolding [editor’s note: too realistic?].
This is where my actual learning began. The game prompted me to speak with Dr. Taylor who explained to me that I was to see a patient and order tests, make diagnoses, and even provide treatment. She even directed to me to the clinic library, where I was provided valuable information about different bacteria and viruses.
My first patient, a 22 year old female named Ms. Pizzabreath, complained of burning during urination. Microbe Invader prompted me to order tests using a urine specimen:
After receiving receiving results that the specimen contained a gram-positive rod, I was asked to diagnose Ms. Pizzabreath. From a plethora of options, I was asked to choose the bacteria, virus, or other that I believed was responsible for her symptoms:
While I was wrong several times [they yelled at me for not going to the library and checking a reference book], I can definitely see the value in this learning tool. It mimics a clinical setting, while helping you study the complex world of infectious diseases and also providing some comic relief (note: my custard). Additionally, the game rewards you with points for correct diagnoses, correct treatments, and even speed of delivery. I highly recommend it!
Check it out here.
Note: Featured imaged and all images above are screenshots from Microbe Invader.