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Games Entertainment

Playing Video Games Makes For Better Surgeons 201

Steve Wallach writes "ABC News on line is reporting that surgeons that play video games at least three hours a week make 37% fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and complete the surgery 27% faster than their non-video game playing colleagues. '"I use the same hand-eye coordination to play video games as I use for surgery," said Dr. James "Butch" Rosser, 49, who demonstrated the results of his study Tuesday at Beth Israel Medical Center.'"
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Playing Video Games Makes For Better Surgeons

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  • Somehow (Score:4, Funny)

    by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:06AM (#8791121) Homepage
    Somehow I doubt that Harvard is going to accept high school students who took only business classes and write in big bold letters on their applications "I Kick Ass at Dr. Mario!!!"
    • They might not, but the Air Force would.

      Having good hand eye coordination is critical to being a great pilot.
    • Somehow I doubt that Harvard is going to accept high school students who took only business classes and write in big bold letters on their applications "I Kick Ass at Dr. Mario!!!"

      No but I wonder if this could have some sort of application in the world of malpractice insurance. Obviously since it seems to be pretty good research, there is a positive correlation, maybe insurance companies would be willing to lower insurance on people who play regularly. But it may also depend on the game and it's hard to i

  • Yes but... (Score:3, Funny)

    by da3dAlus ( 20553 ) <dustin.grau@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:06AM (#8791123) Homepage Journal
    What life skills are learned through car-jackings and running over of hookers from GTA? ;)
    • Sim hospital. Perfect for learning those administrative tasks that you need to master in order to become a middle management consultant - the most essential level of the hospital infrastructure
    • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:14AM (#8791206) Homepage
      I'm more concerned with the surgeons who gain their 27% speed increase from performing incisions using a chainsaw instead of a scalpel myself... On the otherhand, it certainly gets the job done for amputations: Bzzzzzt! "OK, my work here is done. Stitch that up for me please, nurse..."
      • Re:Yes but... (Score:4, Informative)

        by BoldAC ( 735721 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:31AM (#8791371)
        You would be amazed how much orthopedic surgery is really like being a carpenter!

        The bone saws are amazingly powerful [frets.com] and kinda chainsaw like.

        Even cooler are the body suits that the orthopedic docs where to keep from getting themselves infected from all the flying debri.
        • The space suits (Score:5, Informative)

          by The Tyro ( 247333 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @11:25AM (#8793261)
          are not so much to protect the surgeon... they're to protect the patient.

          They are most often worn during total joint replacements... if that artificial joint gets infected and colonized with bacteria (one of the most-feared complications of orthopedic surgery), it cannot be sterilized with antibiotics... it must be taken out in a second operation.

          Orthopedic surgery redo's are a difficult surgical challenge, particularly in the setting of infection. The space suits are for the patients, not the surgeons.

      • I'm more concerned with the surgeons who gain their 27% speed increase from performing incisions using a chainsaw instead of a scalpel myself.

        What you need to do is find a surgeon who can beat Hitman II [hitman2.com] using only the scalpel (a real weapon in the game).

        Of course it might get annoying that they keep sneaking up on you from behind......
      • by Bombcar ( 16057 ) <racbmob@nOsPAM.bombcar.com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:00AM (#8791638) Homepage Journal




        Quad Damage.


        • Nurses ask: "What's that blue aura coming from the OR??"

          Yeah, let's hope the wonderful Doctors don't get Quake flashbasks and end up gibbing their patient instead of performing surgery.

          Next thing you know, they'll walk into the OR and mutter under their breath, "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble-gum..."
      • by Marsala ( 4168 )
        Just watch out for the ones who come bunnyhopping out of the pharmacy screaming "QUAD DAMAGE!"
      • You laugh (Score:5, Informative)

        by The Tyro ( 247333 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:03AM (#8792215)
        but some of Napoleon's surgeons would have loved to have had access to a chainsaw.

        Some of those surgeons singlehandedly did hundreds of amputations in a single day... and it wasn't exactly a gentle procedure. Four or five burly lads held you down, while the surgeon used a knife to quickly divide the soft tissues around the bone, and a bone saw to complete the amputation. A bit of cautery, and the next patient was brought forward...

        Seems brutal by today's standards, but that's how lives were saved... a soldier with a gangrenous limb almost always died... a soldier with an amputation before infection could set in had a chance of survival. Remember that this was long before antibiotics were available.

        Do a Google search for Jacques Lisfranc: to this day, some foot injuries are still named after him. Dominique-Jean Larrey is another name you might try.

    • by JohnGrahamCumming ( 684871 ) * <slashdot AT jgc DOT org> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:17AM (#8791227) Homepage Journal
      > What life skills are learned through car-jackings
      > and running over of hookers from GTA? ;)

      You obviously don't live in New York.

  • I am sure the sight of gushing blood probably doesn't effect too many of them either.

    Enough Doom or Unreal will fix that problem for you.
    • by Jameth ( 664111 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:23AM (#8791289)
      That sounds good, but it's not so true. Those games desensitize people to gunshots and similar cues, but real blood is totally different. Especially up-close-and-personal, real blood is much more disturbing.

      They get desensitized to that because they are surgeons; the games don't count for shit.
    • I once thought that, too. My dad took me hunting as soon as I looked big enough to carry a rifle. Even by that point, I had the digital blood of trillions on my hands (although a good few billion of those came from unleashing monsters on SimCities).

      I wasn't bothered by gunfire (although I got jumpy and tried to get behind cover whenever I heard a shot that one of us didn't fire), but the problems started when it came time to clean the deer we got - and cutting open a dead deer has got to look something lik
    • I dunno, the sight of gushing blood probably creates a few surgeons. Now, had you said "affect", that might be a different story... ;)

      --Grammar Nazi
  • Does this mean surgeons are going to place screen shots of their high-scores next to their Diplomas on the Wall?
    • No. But... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by The Tyro ( 247333 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:57AM (#8791599)
      screenshots are often taken and placed in the medical record... it's not only good documentation, it makes it harder for a disgruntled patient to come back later and sue, saying the appendix wasn't infected and the surgery wasn't necessary, etc; it's not only in the path report, it's right there in the chart in brilliant color.

      Some surgeons, particularly plastic surgeons, are practically professional photographers... I've often had them come into the ER to sew faces of drunk drivers and bar-fight participants back together. The first thing they do is take a bunch of pictures. The reason why is pretty simple: A before/after picture comparison can be a real case-breaker for a plaintiff's attorney. Even with the most-expert plastic surgeon working on you, almost every wound scars to one degree or another... the before/after pics really put it into perspective for a jury.

      A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
      • Reconstructive plastic surgeons aren't just covering their butts. To say they're only taking pictures as "cover" against potential lawsuits by their patients isn't doing them justice.

        First off, there are lots of legal requirements that have nothing to do with civil malpractice lawsuits -- laws that require reporting of and documentation for cases of domestic violence, for example. There'll be similar laws that apply to your bar fights and drunk driving cases, I bet. If someone gets hit by a drunk driver,

        • a couple of things: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by The Tyro ( 247333 )
          I'm not running down plastic surgeons, I'm just telling you what they've told me. And for the record, there is nothing wrong with covering your butt, particularly in a litigation-prone field like plastics.

          The reality is this: when a plastic surgeon takes care of an ER patient, it's often uncompensated, and the surgeon typically never sees that patient again after they are healed. Also, some of the antisocial types that end up needing that kind of surgical assistance can be quite litigious. If that patie
    • No, but it probably does mean that any taping of a new procedure will most likely be punched up with a really cool soundtrack and some interesting visual effects highlighting the really tricky parts.

      I'm just waiting to see how long it takes before clan tags start making it onto nameplates for their offices....

      -={4M2}=- DethTherahpy, MD
  • Ha! They've been doing this for years. Its a boardgame called "Operation". Picture of Boardgame [yimg.com] I never could get the pieces of the patient out without setting off the alarms. Hopefully the real doctors are good at this game.
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:10AM (#8791160) Homepage

    Game playing doctors did however show a 25% increase in car-jacking, 14% increase in shooting incidents and 23% increase in slashing peoples throats with a knife.

    They also had 46% fewer complaints than other doctors but this could be attributed to other factors. One patient saying...

    "Would you complain to a guy who claims he is a crack shot with a railgun ?"
  • Indeed I know for a fact that I wouldn't be half the surgeon I am today were it not for the hours I spent playing operation [amazon.co.uk].
  • I guess I'd better go buy my surgeon a PS2 or an XBox just to be on the safe side. Actually, I think his medical malpractice insurance company already sent him one.
  • by gustgr ( 695173 ) <rondina@gCHEETAHmail.com minus cat> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:11AM (#8791174) Homepage
    Patient: "Hi doctor, how are you doing? Are you ready to start ?"

    Doctor: "Ohhh yeah .. I was playing some Quake I .. That Axe really rocks!"

    Patient: "Oh god..."
    • When I went to have my knee scoped and was beginning to feel the effects of the anasthesia the pumped in me, the doctors and I had a grand conversation over video games, most notably the quake series. I thought it was pretty comical myself.

      Also, my mother is a huge fan of Reader's Digest. Sometime ago when I was in my early teens, she read an article along the same lines as this: that the muscles used in gripping a Nintendo controller and pushing the buttons are the same muscles being used by surgeons d

  • by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:11AM (#8791179)

    HAWKEYE PIERCE - Invincibility (on/off)

    FLY - Float around (invoked by taking nitrous)

    NOTARGET - Nurses don't see you (on/off)

    KEVORKIAN - Cut your losses and move to the next patient

    NOCLIP - Don't shave patient before incision

    STELSEWHERE - Teleport to other hospital

    GIVE S # - Gives you # retractors

    GIVE N # - Gives you # nails

    WALLETDRAIN - Remove contents of patient's bank account to pay for operation

    IMPULSE 9 - Gives all knives and tools

  • ...my chances to become a brain surgeon are improved.
  • by Tedium Unleased ( 764661 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:12AM (#8791183)
    Some doctors sign their initials in marker next to the stitches after a surgery. That happened to me once and I was a little annoyed seeing it months later after removing my cast. I'd have been even more pissed if they signed "Ownt j00".
    • Do a google search for "Alan Zarkin."

      He's an OB/GYN from New York who actually carved his initials into a woman's abdomen with a scalpel after doing her C-section.

      I wish I'd been on the disciplinary board for that one... I'd have had his license for breakfast.
  • DrButch gonna frag yo ass.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:13AM (#8791198)

    Frightened parent: Doctor? Our son... how is he?

    Clooney: As you know, your son was hurt very badly in the accident. He lost a lot of blood and there was severe damage to his heart.

    Frightened parent: Give it to me straight, doctor. How is he!

    Clooney: PWNED!


    Tune in next week to see Dr. Clooney attempt to save Tess Trueheart's life when her heart stops.

    Clooney: Charging to 500, ready... UUDDRLRLBABA!

  • attention span ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psycho_tinman ( 313601 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:14AM (#8791208) Journal

    Wonder if this is related, but it might be that surgeons need practice at maintaining attention on something; like everyone else.

    The more practice you get concentrating intensely on hand-eye coordination based activities, the better you get. Hey, I should know. I started out sucking rocks at Quake and ALL FPS, but kept on playing and and getting fragged and managed to figure out how to hold my own, just barely.

    Just that since there aren't so many surgical procedures to practice on, playing games are a means of tuning the hand eye coordination. A friend of mine plays a lot of squash for the same reason (although he's pretty careful of his fingers and wrists)

    • Heh, I used to be really bad at FPS games. I've spent the last few months in a non-shooting 3d world where you mostly build and script stuff. Even though there was not really any intense shooting action going on, it seemed to help because I'm doing a lot better at FPS games now.

      I think hand-eye coordination is definitely an important part, but also conditioning your brain to intuitively perceptualize the 3d-on-2d screen accurately is one aspect that is overlooked.

      It helps that the keyboard layouts are mo

  • From the article:

    Rosser has developed a course called Top Gun, in which surgical trainees warm up their coordination, agility and accuracy with a video game before entering the operating room.

    What if the doc plays poorly? Is he going to be agitated when he walks into the OR?

    The doc in the interview was playing Super Happy Monkey Ball Fun Mr. Sparkle Game, but I can see some folks leaning toward FPSs.
  • Hand Eye (Score:2, Funny)

    by dolo666 ( 195584 )
    The side effect of this benefit is that surgeons who use video games perform less surgeries than those who do not use them, thus leaving far more patients in need of care. Why? Because video games take a considerable amount of time that surgeons do not have.
  • by supergiovane ( 606385 ) <arturo.digioia@ing.unitn . i t> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:18AM (#8791240)
    Nurses used to do at least 50 frags per day with a railgun are 18% more accurate in giving enemas.
  • No doubt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Davak ( 526912 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:18AM (#8791242) Homepage
    I don't think that it is suprising that video games increases one's dexterity.

    Being a nonsurgeon physician myself, I honestly don't think that most surgeons have a problem with the actual hand-eye part of the surgery.

    Most surgeons that I see getting in trouble are surgeons that do procedures that are not really needed... or surgeons that do procedures for which they they are not adequately trained.

    Anyway, give me a study that shows that surgeons who play video games have a lower mortality rate during surgery and I'll be impressed.

    Until then, it'll just be something else that I kid my surgeon clan members in socomII about.

    (Sorry for the typos, but I am typing madly between patient visits.)

    • Re:No doubt (Score:5, Funny)

      by multipartmixed ( 163409 ) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:09AM (#8791696) Homepage
      > Anyway, give me a study that shows that surgeons who play video games
      > have a lower mortality rate during surgery and I'll be impressed.

      That would be a tough statistic to measure, as I suspect it is extremely uncommon for a surgeon to die while operating on a patient. You would need hundreds of years of clinical data collect enough data to be able to measure this.
    • Your surgeons play FPS games with you? Mine are too busy to play games.

      Now, I do have some of my ancillary staff that indulge in a bit of counterstrike...
    • I am an Orthopaedic surgeon and I do play video games, although maybe only for 30 min a night. I probably played more than my co-residents and it benefitted me during arthroscopic surgery (looking into knees/ankles/hips). I was cleary known as the best 'scoper in my residency. Maybe I just had better "hands" than my class mates, but right off the bat I was much better at it than the rest of the guys my year.

      To me it's a no-brainer, people who practise at stuff tend to be more familar and dextrous at do

      • so we have an orthopedic surgeon on slashdot as well (I presume by the spelling that you're British?) ... it's good to meet you.

        I see you've already met Davak... he's an internist. I'm an ER doc myself.

        I'll be sure to call you for my next arthroscopy.
    • This is a correlative study, not a causal one. What I don't think surprising is that the same doctors who are into vid games are into laparoscopic surgery. I suspect that these docs get more practice at each, separately.

      (IANAP, but my father was a general surgeon who was one of the first-adopters of laparoscopy in his region. He also enjoyed vid games, and was one of the first adopters in the neighborhood of the Odyssey and Intellivision.)

  • by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:19AM (#8791251)
    I finally made it through MYST
    Somehow I made it through
    Don't know how I did it
    Broke a joystick or two

    I was last in my class
    Barely passsed at the institute
    Now I'm trying to avoid, yah I'm trying to avoid
    A malpractise suit

    Hey, like a surgeon
    Cuttin' for the very first time
    Like a surgeon
    Trained by playing DOOM, while online

    Like a surgeon, hey
    Cuttin' for the very first time
    Like a surgeon
    Here's a waiver for you to sign

    Woe, woe, woe
  • Extra lives (Score:5, Funny)

    by martingunnarsson ( 590268 ) * <martin&snarl-up,com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:19AM (#8791257) Homepage
    They are faster because they are less worried about the patient. You know, I'm sure they've got at least a couple of extra lives left.
  • ...that you would be absolutely gutted if your surgeon had just lost badly to a script kiddy :).

    Ah! Bad puns! Sometimes, I just kill myself. And if I had the patients to play more games, I would.

    P.S. Random offtopic bit: I'm actually a Med student on a surgical team at Dunedin Public Hospital in NZ. A couple of weeks back I saw some guys browsing Slashdot from the computers in the main operating theatre complex. So you never know who'll be reading this... ;).
  • by Jameth ( 664111 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:21AM (#8791275)
    I can't count the number of times I got in trouble for talking back to my mother with that. She'd tell me to get off the video games, that it was a waste of my time, and I say that she was just going to watch some cheesy soap opera's anyway, which didn't do anything for her, while my video games were training my coordination and reaction time.

    Now, at long last, I am proven correct.
  • Nurse Ripples: "Dr, what is Gonzo doing?"

    Doctor: "Gonzo Gates likes to work off steam firing the land shark gun [mercurynews.com] down the hospital hallways. Keeps him from hitting the bottle again.
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:22AM (#8791283) Journal
    Some of the games surgeons are playing are:
    Super Mario Gallbladder Removal
    Sonic The Foreign Object
    Sim HMO
    Unreal Tournament - Mega Colostomy
    Tomb Raider X - Laura Croft Gets Endometriosis
    Myst - Secret of the Waiting Room
  • Motivation is obviously a great factor in learning.

    Think about how booooring it can be to acquire knowledge that's actually cool. Then think about how much FUN it can be to play a computer game that's actually boring.

    Man, if we could design games that are both fun and will teach you a useful skill we could really break those learning curves... ...maybe I should've put this in the 4)??? 5)Profit! format?
  • Cause and effect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:31AM (#8791372) Journal
    Or maybe the better surgeons are better at video games.

    Who funded this nonsense?

    • The article doesn't say that better surgeons are better at video games, it says that surgeons who play video games are better at their jobs.

      However, you're on the right track: it's possible that a third intervening variable is causing both of these (e.g., smart people both enjoy video games and are better at surgery).

      Yet the fact remains that a correlation was shown, and therefore a doctor that plays video games, all other things being equal, is less likely to make mistakes than a non-gamer.
      • The article doesn't say that better surgeons are better at video games, it says that surgeons who play video games are better at their jobs.

        I know that, Cleetus. I was suggesting there could be an alternate explanation for the correlation, and that the correlation in and of itself is maeningless. It's like to archtype case of shoe size versus reading ability. They correlate, but only because as kids age, they generally read better and their feet grow.

        However, you're on the right track: it's possible th

  • that the hand-eye part transfers to surgery but NOT the fragging part....

    "Heh heh... he thinks he made it through the surgery but wait'll he comes across the tripmine I left in his wheelchair!!!"
  • Great (Score:3, Funny)

    by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:36AM (#8791402) Journal
    "Look at Junior, Hubert."

    "What's he up to, Nancy? Oh. Wow!"

    "Oh, I'm so proud, Hubert. He's sure to grow up to be a world-famous brain surgeon."


    or "I *would* be doing my homework, Ma, but I'm busy preparing for a career in the medical sciences!"
  • Wouldn't it be cool if, when a patient dies on the table the Pac-Man you've-been-caught-by-a ghost noise (BE-OOP! Be-Oop be-oop) would play?
  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:42AM (#8791460) Journal
    "My God! She's bleeding all over! Smegley, call for an ambulance immediately! Is there a doctor in the house? Anyone?"

    [everyone is still sitting in shocked silence -- nobody rises to the occasion]

    "Well, anyone with exceptional hand-eye coordination...how about a video game player, then? Surely *someone* among you must have stomped on a few walking mushrooms in your time!"
  • Do you think cops who play Time Crisis-like games are better shootists?

    I'm pretty good at lightgun games, but I've never shot a real gun, so I'm wondering...

  • It's true (Score:3, Informative)

    by Underholdning ( 758194 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:46AM (#8791498) Homepage Journal
    I did my master thesis in computer science in this area. We made a system to automatically segment and visualize the vessels in the brain. One usage was for Laparoscopic surgery, albeit they mostly use the system as a pre-operation planner.
    Anyway, my point is, that the methods we used for the visualization isn't that far away from what is used in modern game development. We also aimed to show as many polygons as possible, animated and shaded, on the screen at once, like modern 3D games.
    The model wasn't that complex, so our home made engine had no problem viewing it in real time, but I see no problem in using a game engine such as Quakes to visualize medical data.
  • by RonBurk ( 543988 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:49AM (#8791534) Homepage Journal
    Let's go to the actual study: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/dgentile /MMVRC_Jan_20_MediaVersion.pdf

    It's kind of a slide-show study report, so it's hard to get at all the details. But, there's room for skepticism...

    Residents outweigh attending physicians 2-to-1 in this study. Wouldn't residents be more likely to be younger? Aren't younger people much more likely to have significant video game experience? I can find no place in the report that shows they controlled for age. Might the study simply be showing that "younger people have better eye-hand coordination than older people?"

    Aren't most new kinds of video games and equipment (I would suppose, including laparoscopic equipment) built by young people with young eyes? Don't most older (>45) people develop farsightedness? Might the study merely be showing that "laparoscopic equipment needs to be improved for surgeons who have older eyes"?

    In "Methods and Materials", I saw a quote that made me think "skill" was partially calculated by how fast the operation was performed. Might not residents who have only performed 2 actual surgeries be more likely to risk going faster, unlike experienced physicians who, with many more actual surgeries under their belt, might be more inclined towards caution? Do I really want the speed demon operating on me, or the guy who goes "slow and steady"?

    Don't many video games essentially teach "it's better to be fast than right, better to keep moving than stop and think"? Is that the mindset I want in a surgeon?

    It was hard to determine whether the simulator being used was closer to a video game or closer to real surgery. Might the study merely be showing that "people who are better at video games are better at surgery video games"?

    This study, or at least this description of it, failed to convince me that I want a Doogie Doctor doing my next surgery. I think I'll go with the guy who has had a couple hundred successful operations over the guy who smoked him on Mortal Kombat.

  • I'm more worried about the non-gamer surgeons. If they have over 1/3 more mistakes than the gamers, what does that say for their skills and the welfare of their patients?

    Remember, someone, somewhere, today, has an appointment with the doctor who graduated last in his class...
  • Do urologists play first-person shooter games? Only asking...
  • Last week I was having a procedure, and the surgeon was amazing. What was strange, though, was that I could swear towards the end of the procedure, I started to come out from under the anaesthetic, and I faintly heard this deep voice call out:

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:05AM (#8791673)
    Unreal Tourniquet?

    Total Amputation: Kingdoms?

  • ... if games like Dr Mario are not driving doctors to prescribe more and more medecine. :)
  • Anybody remember the Surgeon game on the Commodore Amiga? I hope that's not what they're using for video games - it could cause a problem in the OR when the Dr says: "clamp, swab, mouse...". The bit I liked the most about the game was the scream when the patient died... I hope Dr's playing this game have different motivations to me. Hmmmm, pilot's aren't allowed to fly within a certain length of time of being in a flight simulator (48 hours?)... perhaps the same should apply to Drs ;)
  • by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:28AM (#8791852) Homepage
    Other recent studies have shown that while doctors who play games are 37% less likely to make mistakes and 27% faster, there is also a 67% increased chance that they will kill someone on the operating table "just to watch them die."
  • by arson1 ( 527855 )
    Fark called, they want their link [fark.com] back.
  • For any of you who actually know something or two about computer assisted surgery, this shouldn't come as a surprise at all. Medical doctors often use virtual-reality based surgical simulators to practice surgeries.

    For an example of how medicine and video games intersect, check out Immersion Corporation [immersion.com] for a run down of modern 3D haptics (input for computer systems other than keyboards and mice). Their medical products [immersion.com] page gives a nice overview of modern haptic devices and applications, including end
  • Even better, combine the two. Use a simulator to practice the actual surgery. [surgical-science.com]
  • The article doesn't indicate whether the study used a self-selecting methodology, or conflated correlation with causality. For example, if videogame playing surgeons are a younger group (on average) than the larger group of *all* surgeons, and younger surgeons are more deft (less decrepit, more enthusiastic, more recently trained with more recent techniques, need the money more, etc) than older surgeons, then the videogames aren't causing the skill. The age factor might be stronger than in the general human
  • cool!
    now i can charge my gaming needs off as a professional expense. i'll make sure the hospital has consoles in the surgeons lounge so that i can "warm up" before starting surgery.

    i do agree that having grown up with computer games can help your laparoscopic skills. or it could be that gamers tend to gravitate towards the surgical field, while non-gamers end up as internists.

  • ...if this means I can sue Microsoft over their bulky X-Box controller if my surgeon screws up.

    Or how about this: "Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, sure, the defendant says he plays Counterstrike four hours per week to hone his surgicial skills and he claims that's enough. But I submit to you that a lying, cheating wallhack such as the defendant isn't going to gain ANY skills that help make him a better surgeon, or a better counter-terrorist.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.