Time-Wasting Tip #4 (for the Overworked Grad Student)
By Alexandra Greer
Got a long incubation time to kill? Waiting for your cells to spin? Bored in between classes? In class? This week, we suggest you try your hand at heart transplantation with “Surgeon Simulator 2013” (Google it), a hilarious, free online game that teaches you that not all medical simulations are created equal.
If you’ve ever played the online game QWOP (if you haven’t, you should Google that, too), you’ll recognize the style of controls for Surgeon Simulator 2013.
A different keyboard key controls each finger of your virtual free hand. The angle of your right hand is controlled by the right mouse-click, and the angle of your left hand is controlled by the left mouse-click. If this sounds complicated, it is.You’re given a patient with a nice chest wound covering and an assortment of surgical tools, including such useful supplies as a bone saw, scalpel and hammer. In my terrible attempts at heart transplantation, I typically ended up knocking half of these onto the floor and the other half into the chest cavity of poor Bob.
In the name of simplicity, all you need to do for Bob is replace his ailing heart — lungs and ribs appear unnecessary, and it’s totally fine if you leave an assortment of tools floating around in his body. He’ll be OK!
I’d highly recommend this game to anyone with time to spare, and especially anyone who needs reminding that delicate surgery is essentially impossible to master without superhuman precision. One of these days, I’ll get Bob to survive. Hopefully.
Check next week for another grad-student approved distraction. Suggestions are welcome!
Alexandra Greer is a fifth-year graduate student in the Biomedical Sciences and promises her PI that she doesn’t waste that much time when she is in the lab.