Bug off pain: An educational virtual reality game on spider venoms and chronic pain for public engagement

Lucka Bibic (Lead Author), Justinas Druskis, Samuel Walpole, Jesus Angulo Alvarez, Leanne Stokes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Virtual reality (VR) technology has been capturing the public imagination for decades. VR software applications that allow for interactive immersion are emerging as a renowned medium in many areas, including educating the public in biochemistry-related subjects via public engagement events. This report provides information about an immersive, interactive and educational virtual reality (VR) game named Bug Off Pain that increases scientific literacy about chronic pain and spider venoms among the public and high school students. Here, VR was shown to be an innovative and fun approach to learning and public engagement in biochemistry. Bug Off Pain places the viewer inside the brain and shows the molecular system that allows people to sense pain. After securing three (learning) points via the multimedia-based clips, this experience translates to the interactive game. Here, a player has to choose a venom that shuts down the pain until that results in “pain over”. Bug Off Pain can be played (free of charge) on two different VR platforms: Oculus Rift and Android devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1486-1490
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number7
Early online date15 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2019

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