popular media has long sensationalized video games for its violent content
acting as so-called “murder simulators,” but perhaps now some will see the
other side – video games being a life-saving simulator.
series such as Trauma Center for the Nintendo DS and Wii allow gamers to play
the role of a surgeon to save the lives of patients in dire need of help. According
to a recent study, real-life surgeons may be able to boost their life-saving
skills with the Wii.
Kanav Kohel and Dr. Marshall Smith, of the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Centre
in Phoenix, Ariz. found that surgeons who “warmed up” by playing games such as
Marble Mania for an hour scored 48 percent higher on a virtual 3D
training tool called ProMIS than those who were did not play the Wii
researchers attribute the increase in performance to the fine movements with
the Wii Remote required to control certain types of games. On the other hands,
games that called for less specific, intricate movements were less helpful.
don't gain a lot from swinging an imaginary tennis racket," Kahol said in
Scientist story. "The whole point about surgery is to execute
small, finely controlled movements with your hands, and that is exactly what
you get playing Wii."
research team is currently designing Wii software that will be even better
suited in training surgeons, potentially leading to a low-cost training system
for doctors located in facilities unable to afford high-end simulators.