on May 2, 2013
One interesting controversy about this game was that apparently some people were upset over the name. They saw “Surgeon Simulator 2013″ and expected it to be, you know, a simulation. It’s like calling the 80’s classic Rampage, “Sim City”. The game began as a goof – a flash based web game where the name of the game was part of the joke. But when you’re looking at a game in the context of a store, your assumptions change and a lot of people don’t expect the titale of a game to be ironic, hyperbolic, or absurdist.
It wasn’t a big controversy or anything. It was more like a few unhappy comments. But I thought the confusion as a result of a change in context was interesting.
Back in the very early 90’s I did play a real surgeon simulation. I don’t remember the name, but I do remember it was HARD. Your first surgery is an appendectomy, and the game expected you to be able to locate and extract the appendix without carving up the patient like a Christmas ham. I failed on my first three tries because I was just a few inches off, and after cutting and fiddling around for a long time I’d finally get in there and find out I didn’t have the right angle to extract the appendix. (Cutting a second incision would immediately end the operation with a message that another doctor was taking over.)
So now we have two games that feature point-and-click surgery. That makes it a genre!
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.