The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

November 23, 2012

Slate: High-school video gamers match physicians at robotic-surgery simulation

The applicability of video game skills to modern warfare-in the use of drones, in particular-is well known. But a new study suggests, not surprisingly, that gamers might also have an edge in robotic surgery.

Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston tasked OB/GYN residents and 10th graders who regularly play video games to perform tasks on a robotic-surgery simulation-like suturing. On average, the high-school students, who played two hours of video games a day, performed just as well as the residents-a few individual teenagers even did better. (Some have reported that the study showed the teenagers did better than the residents, but the difference in their performances is statistically insignificant.)

UTMBG's Sami Kilic, the lead author on the study, says high-school students who played virtual doctor were devotees of first-person shooters (especially the Call of Duty franchise-"a wild game," Kilic says), as well as games featuring sports, strategy, and auto racing. Those who devoted their time to shooting games and sports games did the best at the robotic-surgery simulation-perhaps, he speculates, because the unpredictability of the gameplay was similar to surgery.

The question, Kilic says, is whether spending two hours a day at a game, as these high-schoolers did, might hinder other areas of their development, especially social skills. He hopes to explore that issue soon, with the help of behavioralists.

In the mean time, he says, "I'm not encouraging [teenagers] to spend countless hours in front of the computer games, because our job is not to create the best surgeon ever or the best soldier ever … in this age group. They have to have the fundamental human being skills in their developing age."

Of course, it's not exactly surprising that "video games are making us better at video games." Robot surgery will be increasingly common in the coming years-so it's important for people to understand that gaming skills may have real-world applications, or at least virtual applications with real-world consequences.

Text Only
Top News
  • PHOTOS: Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners

    Clinton Junior Baseball 2014 Tournament Winners - Majors, Minors, Pee Wee

    July 25, 2014

  • Foreman calls Iowa murder case a 'slam dunk'

    The foreman of a jury that convicted an Iowa man of killing his pregnant wife says the prosecution's case was a "slam dunk" even if the investigation had flaws.

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children's clothing scattered in the courtyard.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino

    Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video