Stanford School of Medicine has just completed a new video game to help teach medical students to treat sepsis. Sepsis is a severe medical condition that begins as a bacterial infection, and quickly expands to become a systemic disease that can kill patients within hours.

The game, which can be played here, is intended to put doctors into the situation of having to treat patients under the same time limitations that they would encounter in a hospital setting. The player must review patient reports, charts, and history, administer tests and treatments to multiple patients. As the patients’ health decreases, they fall towards the bottom of the screen, and as they are treated (properly) their health increases and they rise towards the top of the screen. The player (or medical student) must manage treating multiple patients before their health drops too low and they die. The game ends when all patients have either been cured or have died.



Though I didn’t enjoy the game much since I do not have the medical background to know how to treat sepsis (and thus lost quickly), this game is another great example about how video games can be used for educational purposes. It may eventually help doctors be better able to treat this rapid and severe disease, and if more games of this type are created, video games may become a large component of medical education.

  1. jrtuc said:

    I find it so interesting that video games are now even used to help the medical field. It makes a lot of sense that this game would help students learn about Sepsis, and as it is something i have never heard of, it seems like a good way to get the word out there about this disease. I would probably lose quickly as well and not enjoy the game, but its main goal is clearly to teach students and not to be sold nationally for people like us to play around with. However, i am sure med school students find the game more fun than simply studying and thus may learn more than ever about Sepsis.

  2. lpsmit said:

    I agree. This game is a perfect example of how games can be used for educational purposes. I think that the use of games for educational purposes is amazing, and extremely useful. I know that as a child, and even now, sometimes as a visual and kinesthetic learner, hands on games, and even songs, help me learn important material and concepts. I would rather use a game/video to help me study than lecture notes/slides. As far as the goal of the game makers, I believe that the game makers achieve their goal of teaching their students, giving them hands on practice. In my personal opinion, I would rather have someone practice on a game first to gain some type of experience, then preform on a real person.

  3. Asia Bond said:

    This sounds like the greatest game ever! I am interested in becoming a doctor and I am very nervous about going to medical school because of the amount of pressure put onto the students, and I think that this would be a great way for future doctors to get practice with dealing with the pressure. Although this is just a game, but I think that it will give the students the ability to realize what it will be like to deal with a situation under time constraints. Also seeing as it is a game many of the students may be more relaxed dealing with the situations because it is in a more relaxed setting, which will then allow them not to stress about the real event in a hospital with a living patient. This is a wonderful idea and a nice warm-up for the big game!

  4. aishamalek said:

    I agree that games like Septris have great potential to serve as educational tools in professions such as medicine. It is a terrific way for medical students to learn how to manage multiple patients presenting a range of symptoms, and the inclusion of time as a factor gives the game an added pressure. This pressure is obviously not the same as that which would be present in a hospital setting, but it helps to bridge to the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical and procedural knowledge. I also noticed that the game allows players to increase the speed, which shows that it can provide a challenge to people of various skill and knowledge levels.

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