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Wii used to hone surgeons' fine motor skills

Evan Blass
01.18.08
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Proving that children and the elderly are not the only groups seeing benefits from Nintendo's Wii, a study on a small group of surgeons who had practiced gaming with a modified controller showed them to achieve significantly more improvement on a standard simulator procedure than did a corresponding group of control subjects. Study author Kanav Kahol worked with Dr. Marshall Smith of the Banner Health hospital chain to build a special Wiimote attachment (read: broken golf club add on + laparoscopic probe) that eight surgical residents used to play Marble Mania and the full suite of Wii Play games. The gamers were then pitted against eight of their less-fortunate colleagues in a computer-simulated laparoscopic procedure, and managed to attain 48% higher scores, on average, than the non-gamers. Unfortunately, games involving broader motions such as tennis or boxing are said to be less suitable for this sort of training, make a total liar out of your doctor the next time you catch him "honing up on the latest techniques" by playing Wii Golf.

[Image courtesy of The Wall Street Journal]

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