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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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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 ...

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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