Trauma Center, eat your heart out
This isn't the first time that a scientific study has come up demonstrating the benefits that videogames can have on budding surgeons, and it surely won't be the last. It makes sense: spend time developing hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills, and you'll be less likely to nick an artery when it counts. This study, authored by Domenico Giannotti at the Sapienza University of Rome and published on the Public Library of Science, specifically focuses on laparoscopy, which uses tiny cameras to help perform minimally invasive surgery.
The parallel between motion-controlled videogames and laparoscopic technique is even more profound than those in studies linking videogame training and general surgery, as laparoscopy involves manipulating tools in three dimensions, while monitoring the procedure on a screen that displays only two dimensions.
Interestingly, the games used for the study were the relatively simple Wii Sports tennis, Wii Sports Resort table tennis, and Wii Sports Resort dogfight minigames. On the surface, they have little in common with the laparoscopy simulator used in the study to measure performance, but the hypothesis is that by learning to manipulate the Wii remote in three dimensions accurately enough to play those games, the test subjects were able to more quickly transfer those skills to the simulator.
Wii Surgery: Nintendo Game Console Boosts Surgeons' Skills [Medical Daily]