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Hillary Fisher, writer
Eric Bort, creative director/programmer/executive producer
Hillary Fisher/Steve Galgas/Gary Shaw, production artists
Mike Smail/Kelly Warner, troublestudios.com, sound designers
Gail Wheatley, COSI Columbus, project manager
Anne Douglas, researcher
Living Children Multimedia Development, project design and development
COSI Columbus, client

“I’m not sure if it’s the friendly delivery of the content, the little movies, or what, but I couldn’t rip myself away from this site!”—juror Sasha Kurtz

“This is one of my favorite pieces. It’s not only well put together, but it could be used as a textbook example of a perfect use of Flash. It’s amazing how simple vector animation can actually make you feel as though you’re performing surgery. I hope they launch a whole suite of virtual surgery rooms.”—juror Dan Mavromatis

Overview: This site takes the children’s game, Operation, to an entirely new level. Snap on your gloves, and play doctor as you perform surgery under expert direction.

• Interactive step-by-step process teaches the user the complex process of knee surgery
• Effective use of narrated guiding voice
• 6 weeks, 5 people

Comments by Eric Bort and Gail Wheatley:
“When Living Children was approached to create a Web-based exhibit on total knee replacement surgery, we wanted to create something truly unique.

“Making a successful interactive activity is all about taking an idea, and pushing it in a manner that no one else has considered. It doesn’t take an innovative thinker to figure out that a drag-and-drop script could be applied to a puzzle game, but when you can take that same script and turn it into a virtual sponge bath activity, you’re on to something. Everyone has learned through textbooks, and everyone has watched educational videos; this project expands the options.

“We’ve engaged users to the extent that they can pick up surgical tools, saw and cement bone, hear accurate sound effects and become immersed in the procedure. And, judging by the comments we’ve received, detailing the average visitor’s urge to vomit or pass out, it appears that we have a successful presentation on our hands. Anyone who can make it through the entire process easily grasps the overall procedure, and states that they felt comfortable performing it—even without a medical degree.

“Virtual Knee Surgery truly brings this surgery to life. Not only has it helped students prepare for a live surgery videoconference program (even the ‘gross’ and ‘eeeew’ factor!), but knee patients are now using the site in increasing numbers to understand the procedure. Apparently, the site’s turning out to be a real benefit to orthopedic surgeons and patients all over the country.”


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