modern culture since 1991

Wings Over Sealand

The ultimate videogame

Posted on March 07, 2011 by RevStu

Get a load of this monstrous boss enemy. Yikes! It's a bit like if Salamander had been written by HR Giger. It'd certainly give me the heeby-jeebies at the end of a tough-level of bullet-hell shmup, or worse yet, if it came hurtling down a corridor at you in some survival-horror FPS. But do you know the most terrifying thing about it?


That's because it's a human heart. And I know this because I've just been reading up on one of the most startling, amazing things I've ever seen, and given that it's been around since 2009 I'm completely astonished I haven't heard anything about it in the gaming media before now, because what with Bulletstorm turning everyone into rapists and suchlike you'd think it'd be exactly the sort of thing they'd want to make a big song and dance about.

BodyViz is an incredible piece of computer software that converts MRI and CAT scan data into a navigable 3D model of someone's body. It's not a general-purpose simulation, but the exact innards of a specific person, that can be rotated and zoomed and steered around using an Xbox 360 joypad – perhaps because it was written by videogame programmers.


Clearly its primary purpose is medical. Currently, surgeons operating on a patient have to make their preparations for the op by working from blobby, often-2D monochrome CAT scans and MRI images that look like something out of a Jeff Minter game, which even to the expert eye can be vague and difficult to relate to the gooey red insides of a living, breathing person. (And one that you're very much hoping to keep that way.)

By way of illustration, the pics below are CAT and MRI shots respectively.

Now I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd find either of those all that massively helpful if I had the life-or-death job of cutting a tumour out of someone, because people tend to be inconveniently three-dimensional and something like brain surgery needs to be irritatingly precise.

What BodyViz does, though, is convert all the scan data into a full 3D model, whose benefits are better explained by the following video, particularly from 1m40s onwards, than I could manage in words.

You ARE all thinking the same thing that I'm thinking at this point, aren't you?

Namely, that it can surely only be a matter of the passing of a few short years now until you can go into hospital, be plugged into a big scanner, have a laser probe inserted into a vein, handed a joypad and given the opportunity to play the most mindbogglingly incredible videogame ever invented: Super Shoot Your Own Cancer Cells 3000!

Now, obviously none of us ever wants to have cancer. But man alive, if you did wouldn't you want to have a go at the malignant little bastard yourself? It'd be a bit like when Sean Connery's James Bond played Maximilian Largo at the electric-shock ultra-Risk game Domination in Never Say Never Again, only TO THE EXTREME! (Or indeed, to the Max. A-ha ha ha.)

I, for one, hope to still be alive in the future. But if and when I should die, I'd kinda like the last thing I ever saw to be the ultimate Game Over screen, and to leave this world with my thumb on a fire button.

Be Sociable, Share!

7 to “The ultimate videogame”

  1. itsallcrap says:

    Game Over seems a little ambiguous.  I think I'd rather have the Resi 4 style "You Are Dead". 
    Just, you know, in case I wasn't sure.

  2. Old Sam says:

    You know who really looks like assange?  John Inman…. google it, seriously.

  3. Jon says:

    I couldn't play it with that framerate.

  4. Bear or bust says:

    Who thought that Microcosm would hopefully be doable in real life.

  5. AFMG says:

    Dude, I want to play and get a 1Up!

  6. Derek says:

    So basically you want a remake of Microcosm?

  7. MelonManga says:

    I don't want RevStu to die!

↑ Top