video games can make you more skilled at your job

20 02 2007

In the news today, a study showed that surgeons who play video games are more skilled in precision surgery techniques than those who don’t play video games.  It’s nice to see video games finally getting some good press.  For too long they have been blamed for violent behavior.  (I’m not refuting the notion that some games can encourage violence, but it’s silly to say a game made someone violent or caused them to act it out in real life.  But I’ve already ranted on that.)  Many video games are not violent at all, and they improve hand-eye coordination, as well as exercising the brain.  This study backs that up.  Here’s an excerpt from the article :

There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon’s capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery in the study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery.

Laparoscopy and related surgeries involve manipulating instruments through a small incision or body opening where the surgeon’s movements are guided by watching a television screen.

Video game skills translated into higher scores on a day-and-half-long surgical skills test, and the correlation was much higher than the surgeon’s length of training or prior experience in laparoscopic surgery, the study said.

Out of 33 surgeons from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York that participated in the study, the nine doctors who had at some point played video games at least three hours per week made 37 percent fewer errors, performed 27 percent faster, and scored 42 percent better in the test of surgical skills than the 15 surgeons who had never played video games before. …

It supports previous research that video games can improve “fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, visual attention, depth perception and computer competency,” the study said.

Video games are not just for children — they’re even for doctors!  🙂

If you think video games are just for kids, I’d like to hear why.  Feel free to voice your opinions in the comments to this post.




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