MSNBC is reporting on a new study that shows how video games can be used to refine a surgeon’s hand-eye-coordination:
Surgeons who warmed up by playing video games like “Super Monkey Ball” for 20 minutes immediately prior to performing surgical drills were faster and made fewer errors than those who did not, said Dr. James “Butch” Rosser, lead investigator on the study released Wednesday.
The research involved 303 surgeons participating in a medical training course that included video games and was focused on laparoscopic surgical procedures – which use a tiny video camera and long, slender instruments inserted through small incisions. The study was conducted by Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in conjunction with the National Institute on Media and the Family.
Doctors were measured on their performance of the “cobra rope” drill, a standard laparoscopic training exercise used to teach how to sew up an internal wound.
Researchers found that surgeons who played video games immediately before the drill completed it an average of 11 seconds faster than those who did not. Any errors committed during the training lengthened the time it took to complete the task – indicating that faster finishers made fewer mistakes.
The results supported findings from a small study conducted by Rosser in 2003, which showed that doctors who grew up playing video games tended to be more efficient and less error-prone in laparoscopic training drills. That earlier study suggested that playing video games sharpened eye-hand coordination, reaction time and visual skills.
It’s about time scientists started to recognize video games for their medical potential. You would think they would have gotten the hint when Life and Death, an extremely fun surgical sim for the Amiga, PC, and Mac, was released in 1988. If you’re hankering for a surgical sim right now, you can try the surrealistic adventure game Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the Nintendo DS.
Also, don’t forget to check out the ad we’re sponsoring above for ReMISSION, the “first videogame scientifically shown to improve health-related outcomes for young people with cancer”
Well, enough time reading, you should probably get back to playing some games. People’s lives are depending on it!
Read the full article here…