Video Games Helpful to Children and Surgeons

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News Posted: Tue, Aug 19 2008 12:01 PM
New studies conducted at a number of prominent Universities around the country have finally revealed what many of us gamers and long time technophiles have known all along--video games can help kids learn, and improve dexterity and some cognitive functions.

Other information gathered from the studies, however, didn't focus solely on game-playing children. They also used information gathered to gauge the abilities of some doctors and surgeons, and found that playing video games had a huge impact on their abilities as well.

"One study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors than those who didn't.

Advanced video game skills also were a good way to predict suturing abilities, according to their study, which was published in the Archives of Surgery in 2007."


Grand Theft Auto 4

This information flies in the face of the "conventional wisdom" that video games are in some way harmful and potentially detrimental to certain brain functions and cognitive skills, similar to watching television for hours on end. After all, how many of us growing up were told playing video games would "rot our brains"?

"The single best predictor of their skills is how much they had played video games in the past and how much they played now. Those were better predictors of surgical skills than years of training and number of surgeries performed...So the first question you might ask your surgeon is how many of these (surgeries) have you done and the second question is 'Are you a gamer?"

To say the single best predictor of a surgeon's skills was how much they had played video games is a very bold statement. We have trouble buying into that statement fully, but believe there is some element of truth there. The fact of the matter is, a surgeon that is more comfortable manipulating a controller while getting visual feedback from a screen, is more likely to be comfortable performing surgeries in a similar manner.

"Researchers who gathered in Boston for the American Psychological Association convention detailed a series of studies suggesting video games can be powerful learning tools--from increasing younger students' problem-solving potential to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons.  One study even looked at whether playing "World of Warcraft," the world's biggest multiplayer online game, can improve scientific thinking."

News like this starkly contrasts much of what is reported in the mainstream media regarding video games. When games like Grand Theft Auto 4 launch and pull in more money than many so-called Hollywood Busters, much of the media tends to focus on the negative aspects of gaming. Yes, GTA4 is violent. But how many hours of entertainment and stress relief have adults gotten from playing the game? A lot. And according to these studies, those gamers are probably better problem solvers than their non-gamer counterparts.


World of Warcraft

For those of us that grew up in front of a computer playing games, the hand-eye coordination benefits are obvious. But, problem solving skills can also be improved, as can writing and communication skills depending on the usage scenario. There is also the side benefit of demystifying the computer--when kids get comfortable in front of a computer, they are more likely to want to experiment with it and learn what it can do. I can personally attest to this fact; I would not be working on HotHardware today had I not been so enthralled by my Commodore 64 and the games I played on it.

Of course, there was some bad news reported as well. "Other studies confirmed earlier research that found students who played violent games tended to be more hostile, less forgiving and believed violence to be normal compared to those who played nonviolent games. And those who played more entertainment games did poorer in school and were are greater risk of obesity."

Were the parent of these students also studied? We suspect that the fatter, more violent children gamers also have parents that were less involved and more willing to let the kids play whatever games they wanted.
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Were the parent of these students also studied? We suspect that the fatter, more violent children gamers also have parents that were less involved and more willing to let the kids play whatever games they wanted.


LMAF Thank you. Someone gets it.

 

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ice91785 replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 12:28 PM

With the generation of gamers we have I honestly think that its not too far off to have surgeries done with an xbox controller in a seperate room (for increased sterilization of course) or maybe using PS controllers to fly planes and such......

What do you guys think?

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Marco C replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 1:02 PM
I don't think the surgeries will be done with an Xbox or PS controller, but I do think more and more surgeries will be virtual and the surgeon may not even be in the same state as the patient.

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Marco C replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 1:04 PM
Glad someone agrees! I had to hold back there actually, or I would have went on a rant.

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 1:14 PM
Don't be silly - everyone knows that the Wii controller is much better for surgery! :p

If the surgeon is just in the next room, I'd much rather he be in the same room as me. Current control systems don't have the art of tactile feedback perfected as of yet. When they develop the perfect surgical controller, the doctor shouldn't be able to feel the difference between it and actually having his hands inside your chest.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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ice91785 replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 2:12 PM

Haha I did not mean that they'd use an actual controller for surgery...I meant that with ample dexterity and quick reaction times from video games our next gen doctors and pilots and such will probably use more remote control than manual.

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warlord replied on Tue, Aug 19 2008 6:05 PM

I rememeber about 2 yrs or so ago that a company applied for a patient for a 3d holographics system that would allow surgoens to work cleanly. Since all the input was floating there would be nothing to touch and nothing to infect. It would allow the surgoens to have an aid for intense surgerys and greatly benefiting the patient. Seems like it was even mention on print in maximumpc

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Aug 20 2008 12:16 PM
This is another bad thing about the patent system: Asshats are patenting things they have no idea how to actually create, in the hopes that they can extort money from someone that actually figures out the hard part.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Holycrap, i didn't know about that before.

I'm a gamer, and being in medical internship right now.

Guess that explains why i'm always good at medical procedure but sucks at theory.

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MRobin replied on Thu, Jul 22 2010 2:09 AM

Well i must say that video games are really helpful for the kids and even the teenagers but if been used rightly and even more addiction to the kids may cause them some inferiority complexes among the other group of kids ,but seriousness i didn't know about the surgeons.

Regards : http://www.dozenkids.com

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 22 2010 3:15 AM

Inferiority complexes?

Care to explain?

Also.... what the crap man? This thread is 2 years old lol

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MRobin replied on Mon, Jul 26 2010 12:25 AM

Hey ..acarzt..what i mean by inferiority complex is that like many kids in our group had been neglected by other kids since they don't really spent time with the group,as they were busy playing V.games at home and everywhere they found,they are badly addicted to this..and hence they been called introvert or stereotyped by the other kids in our group,so...is this a good thing...?

and doesn't matter how old this post is..what important is how important this post is..~!

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acarzt replied on Mon, Jul 26 2010 7:00 AM

As an avid video gamer myself, I can attest that video gaming has not in any way ever made me feel like an outsider, or inferior to any extent.

If anything, video games were a source of bonding and connecting with other children.

I played plenty of single player games for MANY MANY hours, and I also enjoyed time playing co-op and multiple player games with friends.

Gaming is a more social medium than you think.

The kids who are experiencing said complex's likely have something else that is feeding this problem. Games are HUGE now and it's easy to point fingers, but let's not just jump to conclusions, let looks at all of the factors.

Said kid could have weight issues, or a social disorder to begin with. Something that is going to make him stand out from the crowd in a bad way.

There are kids with the same issues who do not play video games at all.

Sure... in extreme cases, as is with anything... An unhealthy addiction will cause problems for you in more ways than one. The types of games that tend to lead to these addictions are MMORPGs... see WoW. I can see how a heavy and unhealthy addiction could cause social failings, even tho it is a game you play with other people. The direct interaction is lacking and could cause social awkwardness and just not knowing how to deal with people in the real world.

But I would consider this an extreme situation and incredibly rare.

Too many people try to cast video games in a bad light. Can't we just focus on the good for once?

How awesome is it that video games are doing something good for the community? Helping children and sugeons and all :-)

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aaliyah replied on Tue, Aug 10 2010 6:12 AM

Value Your On the net Time While You Play Game Following an extended hectic busy day, picture play games is now regarded as an important element to relax your frayed nerves, scorched eyes and tired ears. Actively playing movie video game is considered as a single certain inside biggest way to obtain entertained oneself.

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link007 replied on Tue, Aug 31 2010 6:30 AM

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