Shoot-em-up video games like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” apparently provide not just practice in ending lives, but also skill sharpening that can save lives.
The Wall St. Journal reports that adult habits of intense video game play result in better multitasking, decision-making and creativity. While these findings alone were attention-getting, a small caption to the accompanying photo revealed that gaming habits reduced laparoscopic surgical errors by 37 percent.
Perhaps it should be no surprise that the eye-hand spatial coordination honed via video gaming would transfer to a similar surgical setting, but popular wisdom holds that video games have redemptive value equivalent to an entire season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
The actual study, while limited to a select group of 33surgical residents and physicians, was nonetheless thorough and well-controlled for causation. It further demonstrated an average decreased time to surgical completion of 27 percent. In fact, the more intense gamers reduced their surgical errors by a whopping 47 percent while working 39 percent faster than their peers – providing them even more time to play video games, of course.
Apparently you can game your way through medical school – if your specialty is laparoscopic surgery anyway.