May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Interactive 3D Simulation of the Eye and Orbit to Enhance Learning of Relavant Anatomy and Pathology: A First-Person Shooter "Serious Gaming" Project
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • R. Javan
    Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • B. S. Jeun
    Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • N. G. Ghazi
    Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • S. B. Gay
    Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  R. Javan, None; B.S. Jeun, None; N.G. Ghazi, None; S.B. Gay, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 4375. doi:
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      R. Javan, B. S. Jeun, N. G. Ghazi, S. B. Gay; Interactive 3D Simulation of the Eye and Orbit to Enhance Learning of Relavant Anatomy and Pathology: A First-Person Shooter "Serious Gaming" Project. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4375. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To develop a highly interactive software for virtual simulation of the orbit and its contents as a first-person shooter game that may assist in teaching complex three-dimensional anatomy and pathology of the orbit and the eye.

Methods: : Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 programming language was used to access libraries from the 3D engine, TrueVision 3D 6.3, which is layered on top of the Microsoft DirectX 8.0 API for creating the gameplay. The graphics design of the 3D objects was accomplished using Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9.0. Images from anatomy, neuroophthalmology, and oculoplastic textbooks were used as a guide for creating the correct anatomy within the game. Royalty free bitmap images were assembled from various online resources to texture the surfaces of objects in order to enhance the realistic appearance of structures and to add to the visual appeal of the game.

Results: : A game was designed to display the user as wearing a "jet-pack" to allow the camera view to freely move in 3D space in all directions using the mouse and the keyboard simultaneously. Proper collision with surface of objects has been incorporated to prevent the camera-view from passing through objects. Users are able to navigate through the orbital cavity and to view and interact with detailed anatomic structures, including neuronal components, vascular supply and the extraocular muscles. They can also enter into the eye to view internal structures such as the retina, lens and iris in order to learn some of their common pathology through gaming. Users are able to identify each anatomic structure by name as well as to zoom on, shoot at, or project certain entities onto the structure. Pop-up menus are used to provide information and images about the pathology of the target structure. Animated bacteria and viruses were also developed to serve as the "enemy". This high degree of interactivity with the addition of the gaming features may promote learning and improve retention rate, while entertaining the learner.

Conclusions: : The concept of "serious gaming" has recently been implemented for teaching purposes. To our knowledge, our gaming design has not been previously described in the ophthalmic literature. The orbital cavity contains structures that may be difficult to envision in their proper spatial orientation and whose functions are complex and difficult to grasp. Serious games may facilitate learning about such complex structures. Our future plans include simulating basic interventions within the eye and orbital cavity in order to give the user the ability to manipulate the game's 3D world and the target objects.

Keywords: anatomy • learning • orbit 

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