It seems that there isn’t much Nintendo’s Wii can’t do these days. If being a tiny, affordable, joyous piece of hardware wasn’t enough for you, now you can add therapeutic tool to its long resume. As it turns out, doctors at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in the Edmonton area of Alberta, Canada have found that the Wii’s motion sensitive controller is the best prescription they can give their ailing patients while on the road to recovery.
Not only is it proving to be an entertaining morale booster, but is showing potential promise as another tool in the medical community’s arsenal to combat lost motor skills caused by strokes. Dr. Grigore Burdea had this to say about the Wii:
“It’s very ingenious,” Burdea said, in Edmonton to speak at a conference on virtual rehabilitation. “This is pioneering work.”
“People are addicted to games, but in this case, the addiction is towards a good cause,” Burdea said. “Bill Gates (billionaire founder of Microsoft) would be wise to sponsor this kind of research.”
Dr. Burdea was also quick to comment that while other hospitals have used the gaming system before, this is the first time he has heard of it being used by occupational therapists as a genuine tool of healing.
So, there you have it. The Wii is now officially doctor approved. If it wasn’t hard enough for you to get your hands on Nintendo’s joy box before, now you can keep in mind that you just might be competing with your local physician for the goods in the near future. The way I see it, it won’t be long before the FDA finds a way to incorporate the Wii into the Food Pyramid, along with apples and Flintstone vitamins.