Gaming has reached levels of fidelity with reality that the same approaches are starting to be used for simulating real life job. This is true for aircraft piloting, as well as driving cars and more and more in surgery training.
This is the case reported by a paper published by Wolters Kluver few days ago on the use of a simulator for training future neurosurgeons.
Researchers have developed a brain surgery simulator with 3D graphics able to match what a surgeon would actually see through the microscope used for surgery. The simulator makes use of haptic interfaces shaped as the surgical instruments used during the operation to recreate the exact feeling to the trainee. A consumer PC is now sufficiently powerful to support this kind of simulation and precise force feedback in the interaction.
The graphics make use of the same “engines” being used in games, and also the engagement of the students follows the same paradigm. Students gets points determined on the accuracy and speed of the operation, when they remove cancerous tissue they get penalties if they touch healthy parts of the brain…
Using the gaming paradigm in education (gamification) is now becoming common in several areas, from learning physics and math, to chemist. And it is likely to be adopted also in other subjects.
Take a look at a video clip of the simulator at work (if you are not faint of heart):