When learning about such a complicated topic as anatomy and physiology, sometimes it can be helpful to go beyond the textbook and interact with the educational experience through a different media. In this case, there are a number of online games that can make various aspects of anatomy and physiological study accessible to a wide variety of students and age groups. These games use everything from timed tests to three-dimensional models to help you discover the wonders of the human body.
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"Web Anatomy Bowl"
"Web Anatomy Bowl" (msjensen.cehd.umn.edu/Webanatomy/default.asp) is a "Jeopardy"-style game that can be played alone or against friends for a more competitive edge as you both show off your anatomy and physiology knowledge. Topics are broken up into major bodily systems, such as the nervous system, the heart, the skeletal system, the digestive system and much more. Just log in with a chosen name, choose a question from the offered selection and you will be presented with facts and illustrations to properly answer. Rounds are timed, so don't delay too long in mulling over a question. The game also provides a database of questions which can be used to study and practice so you can do better the next time you play.
"Anatomy Arcade" (anatomyarcade.com) is an incredible collection of free Flash games that cover every aspect of anatomy and physiology. Perfect for students at all stages of education and even practicing medical professionals, these games let you poke muscles, use virtual hammers on bones, put together an eye jigsaw and play respiratory system crossword puzzles. The site offers sections geared to students and teachers and has an extensive library of videos that provide educational value.
"BBC Science: Human Body and Mind"
"BBC Science: Human Body and Mind" (bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/body/index_interactivebody.shtml) offers several games, each of which focuses on an aspect of the body, such as the skeletal structure, the organs, muscles and five senses. Want to figure out how your stomach and liver fit together? Try the 3-D jigsaw puzzle that tests your knowledge of organ positioning within the body. Fit together a skeleton or wire up a nervous system that then tests your senses with optical illusions. This fun and educational series of games is easily accessible to students 5 years old and up.
"Interactive Physiology" (interactivephysiology.com) is the only online anatomy and physiology game listed here that isn't entirely free. This game does require registration, and many portions of it must be purchased in order to be accessed. Some elements, such as the cardiology segment, are free once the user is registered with the site. Animated bodies allow students and instructors to see physiological concepts brought to life and then take part in entertaining and interactive quizzes to determine what they've learnt in the process. Access is through six-, 12- or 18-month subscriptions, at £39, £45 and £52, respectively.
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