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The trapped miners in Chile are receiving PSPs to help preserve their mental health during the long wait for a rescue tunnel to be drilled.  (Source: MSN International)
Move is designed to help the miners survive the grueling three to four month extraction process

Copiapó, Chile, a provincial capital situated on the west coast of South America's Andes Mountain range has grabbed international headlines for being the site of one of the most dramatic mining disasters in recent history.  On August 5 the roof of the San José Mine, a gold-copper mine located 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the city, collapsed trapping 33 miners 2,200 feet underground.

The trapped miners -- 1 Bolivian and 32 Chileans -- are currently getting along well, as most of the massive mine remained intact and rescue crews have managed to lower food and supplies via bore holes (roughly the width of a grapefruit).  But the bad news is that it may take at least three months to drill the miners out -- which doctors warn may have serious physical and psychological effects.

To prevent the miners from falling into despair or worse, rescuers have offered them an escape from reality -- Sony's Playstation Portable (PSP).  The PSPs were delivered [Google Translated from Japanese] over the weekend via the cups that shuttle supplies to the men down the bore holes.

Video games are enjoyed for a variety of reasons --- including their ability to help people escape reality.  This may be the first instance of this attribute being put to use in a rescue/emergency scenario, though.

There's no official word yet on what game titles were delivered or how frequently they miners will get new games.  Also up in the air is power for the devices.  The PSPs feature a roughly 6 hour battery life, but it's thought that that power cables lowered down the borehole may be able to extend the miners' gaming sessions to marathon lengths.

While the idea of using video games in an emergency rescue at first though seems laughable, it could seriously have a positive impact in helping reduce the amount of psychological trauma the miners endure during their lengthy stay. 

We're guessing Sony has no complaints about the free publicity.

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I wonder....
By DeathBooger on 8/30/2010 2:22:28 PM , Rating: 5
....if Dig Dug was one of the games they received.

RE: I wonder....
By DigitalFreak on 8/30/2010 2:57:17 PM , Rating: 5
No, but they sent down copies of Descent, Descent Part 2 and My Bloody Valentine.

RE: I wonder....
By Smartless on 8/30/2010 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah good thing its not an Xbox. I imagine Gears of War would be unsettling as well.

RE: I wonder....
By emmettc on 8/30/2010 3:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
or Miner 2049er?

RE: I wonder....
By johnsonx on 8/30/2010 6:50:22 PM , Rating: 2
lol, I still have that game for my Atari 800 from nearly 30 years ago. I played it within the last few months via MESS.

RE: I wonder....
By The Raven on 8/31/2010 12:12:28 AM , Rating: 4
Lode Runner

RE: I wonder....
By TSS on 8/31/2010 8:22:40 AM , Rating: 2
Boulder Dash

RE: I wonder....
By MrBlastman on 8/30/2010 3:40:30 PM , Rating: 3
Am I the only one on here that loved to torture the monsters in Dig Dug?

I loved to start pumping them up, then let them deflate a notch, then pump again--and so on... eventually dealing the death blow. My favorite was to pump them up to the brink, like, one more pump and they're dead, just to let them sit there for minutes on end, keeping them there. Other times, I'd pump them up to the edge with a boulder several feet of dirt above them, then dig a hole up to the boulder and squish their superinflated bodies.

Muwahahaha. Who on earth says games are more violent now than they used to be. Whoever says that really has no clue. Long live classic (sadist) gaming! >:)

RE: I wonder....
By dgingeri on 8/30/2010 4:02:37 PM , Rating: 5
They ought to send down laptops and DSL lines to play WoW. That's the only game these days that would keep them occupied for that long.

Of course, then they would have to deal with withdrawal when they finally get out.

RE: I wonder....
By CurseTheSky on 8/30/2010 11:21:39 PM , Rating: 4
Breaking News:

Rescue teams have finally broken through the last obstacles and reached the trapped miners. Contact was first made in the early hours of October 29th, exceeding the original rescue plan's expectations. Rescuers were met with hostility and promptly chased from the mine's main shaft, which was then loaded with explosives and re-sealed by the trapped miners. Early reports indicate a leader of the trapped mining team, identifying himself only as "DownInAHole - Stormreaver," has presented several demands including newer computers, faster Internet connection speeds, and mountain dew, with the threat of a mass suicide within 72 hours if their demands are not met.

More at eleven.

RE: I wonder....
By Lazarus Dark on 8/30/2010 7:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Nintendo should send them a couple early 3DS's. maybe some 3d movies and games would help more. (I'm just thinking... there is not a single game on PSP I care to play. I'd rather emulate NES games on my Droid.)

RE: I wonder....
By BansheeX on 8/30/2010 10:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Anything but a Philips CD-i. There would be 32 suicides and a half eaten torso.

RE: I wonder....
By sleepeeg3 on 8/30/2010 7:31:09 PM , Rating: 3
Nice pic. Original Digger would have been even a nicer touch...

PSPs for trapped miners - technology at its finest.

3 Months...
By KIAman on 8/30/2010 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
If I were trapped for 3 months somewhere, I would catch up on all my reading. A PsP would get boring fast. Books FTW

RE: 3 Months...
By axeman1957 on 8/30/2010 2:24:02 PM , Rating: 1
Will a kindle fit down :-)

RE: 3 Months...
By Bal on 8/30/2010 2:25:39 PM , Rating: 1
Better be backlit...e-ink aint gonna work real well down there!

RE: 3 Months...
By RugMuch on 8/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: 3 Months...
By theArchMichael on 8/30/2010 4:30:15 PM , Rating: 1
I will literally be spitting when I write my thesis

It would be funny if you were spitting when defending it too lol. Youtube that sh!t homey, that's one video I'd prefer to watch over reading the article :-)

RE: 3 Months...
By sviola on 8/30/2010 4:36:38 PM , Rating: 1
Well, from your rant, I would say that you would be the last person on earth t write thesis (usually it requires reading hundreds of papers and books, not mentioning writing a lot).

RE: 3 Months...
By FaceMaster on 8/30/2010 3:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
If I were trapped for 3 months somewhere, I would catch up on all my reading. A PsP would get boring fast. Books FTW

Oh God, I'd rather just receive and Ipad and be done with life.

RE: 3 Months...
By Gul Westfale on 8/30/2010 3:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
If I were trapped for 3 months somewhere, I would catch up on all my reading. A PsP would get boring fast. Books FTW

like these ones?
oh, and an ipad wouldn't fit through the boreholes... and I wonder how they will keep the PSPs charged up. they do appear to have some small trucks and other mining equipment down there, but the exhaust from running the engines would kill the oxygen they have. so do they have to send the machines back up each day for recharging?

RE: 3 Months...
By AstroGuardian on 8/30/2010 5:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
If you get an iPad down there you could set those poor souls on fire (by overheating... ask Steve) and end the adventurous rescue prematurely.

RE: 3 Months...
By Gul Westfale on 8/30/2010 6:25:08 PM , Rating: 5
and they'd be all like "Que? no flash?"

2300 Feet
By Jesterbob on 8/30/2010 2:09:35 PM , Rating: 4
.....collapsed trapping 33 miners 700 feet underground.

The Miners are 2,300 Feet below ground about 700 meters

RE: 2300 Feet
By chmilz on 8/30/2010 3:36:03 PM , Rating: 4
This is what happens when the entire planet is on metric and the US is stuck on stupid.

RE: 2300 Feet
By GeekWithFire on 8/30/2010 4:11:21 PM , Rating: 3
If God believed in the metric system, there would have only been 10 disciples.

RE: 2300 Feet
By johnsonx on 8/30/2010 6:52:11 PM , Rating: 1
lol, now that was funny. That should have been rated up, not down.

RE: 2300 Feet
By rdeegvainl on 8/30/2010 10:07:47 PM , Rating: 1
Then maybe Judas wouldn't have made the cut

RE: 2300 Feet
By chagrinnin on 8/31/2010 6:54:06 AM , Rating: 1
Judas always fell for it but Jesus eventually paid for always turning to him for the "Pull my finger" joke. :P

By Cheesew1z69 on 8/30/2010 4:06:17 PM , Rating: 1
They can send down game consoles and such to allow these guys to pass time, but can't get them out? Um.........ok

RE: So.....
By sviola on 8/30/2010 4:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
There are breathing holes that will allow to descend food and water to the miners, but to rescue them, they'll need to dig a 90cm wide hole. Due to characteristics of the stone and the depth they are trapped in, it is expeted that this hole will take 120 days to be finished.

RE: So.....
By twhittet on 8/30/2010 6:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
Keep them down there long enough on a strict diet - they might be able to make the whole smaller! Too bad sitting around playing video games won't help that situation.

RE: So.....
By Lazarus Dark on 8/30/2010 7:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing they also have to be very careful not to collapse the mine where the miners are actually at right now. I'd imagine that is one of the leading reasons for the long time to dig them out, they have to be very careful.

RE: So.....
By namechamps on 8/31/2010 12:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
PSP can fit down a 6" hole.

How many human you know with a diameter of less than 6"?

RE: So.....
By deeznuts on 8/31/2010 2:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
"Yo Mama" joke somewhere in there ...

Give em an 8-bit emulator
By dark matter on 8/30/2010 2:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
and let them play manic miner

(this joke is for the oldies amongst us!)

RE: Give em an 8-bit emulator
By BZDTemp on 8/30/2010 3:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
My first thought also but was it really in a mine?

Boulder Dash would be my suggestion and when they need time off the PSP they could play some hide and seek :-)

No, seriously. I think it's great effort is going towards not only saving their life's but also trying to make sure they get through this as sane as possible.

RE: Give em an 8-bit emulator
By FaceMaster on 8/30/2010 3:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
and let them play manic miner (this joke is for the oldies amongst us!)

What, so the manic minors among us won't get the joke, despite there being 'miner' in the title?

Take that, you furry bastard.
(See if anybody gets this reference)

RE: Give em an 8-bit emulator
By johnsonx on 8/30/2010 6:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
Atari 800 Spelunker FTW!

By ZachDontScare on 8/30/2010 4:05:01 PM , Rating: 1
Nintendo needs to send them down a camera so they can use the footage of the miners using the psp's in television advertising.

RE: Advertising
By seamonkey79 on 8/30/2010 4:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because Nintendo would make lots of money advertising for the Sony PSP. Unless you think that being given a PSP is cruel and unusual punishment, made all the worse because you're trapped in a mine and being made to use it.

RE: Advertising
By BikeDude on 8/31/2010 2:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
If those PSPs were loaded with nothing but golf games, then it would be extremely cruel.

I wonder how long someone could survive something like that?

What a retarded idea
By AstroGuardian on 8/30/2010 5:19:52 PM , Rating: 1
Those guys probably can't write and read their names. The last thing they need down there is a stupid video gaming console.... sheesh!

RE: What a retarded idea
By rdeegvainl on 8/30/2010 10:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
With a 96.5% literacy rate, I don't think it's that much of a problem.

RE: What a retarded idea
By Sebrastian on 8/31/2010 2:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
you ignorant!

West coast of the Andes?
By drumhellar on 8/31/2010 1:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
Copiapó, Chile, a provincial capital situated on the west coast of South America's Andes Mountain range

Do the Andes have an east coast?

RE: West coast of the Andes?
By Sebrastian on 8/31/2010 2:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
what about........


It only...
By michal1980 on 8/30/2010 3:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
goes everywhere.

By Murloc on 8/30/2010 4:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
just send down an internet cable too, and a wireless router.
If they have internet, even if the PSP isn't the best websurfing device, they can live in the outside world through the cable.

Hope they can homebrew them
By Leper Messiah on 8/30/2010 4:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
At least then they can get porn on them. Priorities people!

By mondpowers on 8/30/2010 9:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
considering the dig dug record of 4,388,520 pts is achieved in less than 5 hrs, we could assume they could do it with a lot more players. oh pls. send in sid meier's civilization for strategy buffs....

By Creig on 8/31/2010 2:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
Can you imagine how much money a network would pay to be able to air the footage as an actually real "reality" show? No "stick a few college kids in the same house and see what happens" here! EVERYBODY would be tuning in! This is real drama! By the time the miners got out, each one would be a rich man from the royalties involved.

By Sazabi19 on 8/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By bunnyfubbles on 8/30/2010 3:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
trap yourself in a mine first

RE: Really?
By AstroGuardian on 8/31/2010 4:20:29 AM , Rating: 1
Yea, and he just calls the yellow van to come and pick you up! :)

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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