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Video Game Roundup

March 8, 2013

Some video games can improve surgeons’ skills and help children with learning disorders.



Building skills with video games. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

In laparoscopic surgery, instead of standing at an operating table, surgeons focus on a video screen, and control their instruments with joysticks. It’s a big adjustment, and a new study has found that doctors who practice playing video games perform better at it. Researchers at the University of Rome divided surgical students into two groups, one of which practiced playing video ping pong, tennis and a balloon battle game on Nintendo Wii consoles. Later, in tests of laparoscopic surgical skills, those students completed procedures more quickly and efficiently.

In other video game news, children with dyslexia who played action video games showed improvements in their reading ability. The researchers believe that dyslexia isn’t so much a language problem as a visual attention one. Playing action video games may improve the children’s ability to focus. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.