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Nintendo helped surgeons hone their skills, study shows


Playing video games on Nintendo Wii can help surgeons hone their skills says a new Italian study.


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Playing video games can help surgeons hone their skills says a new study.

Researchers at the Sapienza University found that surgeons who played Nintendo Wii regularly outperformed those surgeons that did not.

The study used 42 post-graduate residents in three specialties: vascular, endoscopic and general surgery, reported Fast Company.

Half the participants were tasked with playing video games on the Wii for one hour per day, five days per week for four weeks.

The games they played were Wii Sports Tennis, Wii Table Tennis and Battle at High Altitude, which were thought to improve hand-eye coordination.

Before the study, the surgeons showed similar skills at performing delicate laparoscopic surgery that inserts a tiny camera into the abdomen underneath the belly button, said CBS News.

The volunteers had little experience in laparoscopic surgery before the training.

Yet, after the study, those who played video games performed the surgery significantly better than their peers.

Scientists said that new software dedicated to training surgeons may be helpful.

“It is hard to suggest that academic institutions adopt a video-game console as a didactic tool for surgery,” researchers wrote in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

“We hope this may be a trigger to develop dedicated software aimed to help young surgeons as the economic impact of these consoles is significantly lower than traditional laparoscopic simulators and they provide basic didactic value.”

The findings were published in the journal PLoS One.