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Nintendo Wii could help Surgeons perform


Sounds unbelievable, but an American Medical centre has been conducting trials which have shown that surgeons who played the Nintendo Wii before surgery, actually perform better than if they hadn’t played at all.

In the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona surgical residents performed better during simulated surgery after playing on the Wii for an hour beforehand.

The whole point about surgery is to execute small, finely controlled movements with your hands, and that is exactly what you get playing Wii,

Kanav Kahol, who conducted the study with colleague Marshall Smith, told New Scientist magazine.

Professor John Quin, executive director of surgical affairs at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, said the study was interesting and showed promise, but it was still not clear whether better performance in simulated surgery translated into better performance in surgery on a live patient.

What it shows at the moment is only that if you repeatedly play video games you get better at playing video games,

he said, adding the RACS was conducting a Federal Government-aided study to determine the effectiveness of simulated surgery.

Professor Quin said he hoped high-tech tools like the Wii and simulated surgery proved useful because “it’s getting more and more difficult to train the full experience of the surgical operation”.

The study found only those games requiring precise movements, like Marble Mania in which a player guides a marble through a 3D obstacle course using the Wii’s motion-sensitive remote, are effective.

You don’t gain a lot from swinging an imaginary tennis racket,

Kahol said.

Those who played the Wii scored 48 per cent higher on tool control and performance than those who didn’t.

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  1. Trackback: Stirr Dup on January 19, 2008


  1. wilko January 19, 2008

    thtz pretty mad, not sure i would want a glary eyed surgeon operating on me, but each their own!

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