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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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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.


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