The Boston Herald.com, reporting on a presentation given at the American Psychological Association convention this past weekend, concluded that video games and MMOs--like World of Warcraft in particular--can not only make you smarter, but can improve your incision skills as well.
OK, first off, the idea that video games are good for you is not a new one. I mean, I've seen plenty of studies saying video games improve everything from hand-eye coordination to driving skills. This is, however, the first time I've seen the benefits directed at surgeons. I guess some surgeons needed to justify the increased amount of raiding they've been doing lately.
According to the study, laparoscopic surgeons who play video games are apparently 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors than surgeons who do not game. Hmmm, I guess the most interesting part of that for me was that there was that much room for improvement in advanced surgical procedures.
The study also concluded that even it you aren't planning to cut someone's innards up anytime soon you can still reap the benefits of a heavy gaming habit. Proceed with caution though; according to the article there is a severe downside. "It dulls the ability to finitely concentrate on anything that doesn't have a million things going on at once, such as studying law books or history books," said one Boston University student.
This is irrelevant though. Why study history or law, when all you apparently have to do is increase your amount of gaming marathons and then make the big bucks cutting into people's hearts? Here's a question though: do the surgeon that play surgery games see even more benefit?
While you ponder that question, remember, if you're planning on getting some advance surgical procedure done anytime soon and you're looking for a capable surgeon, make sure to challenge her to a Halo 3 death match. If you win, you'll probably want to keep looking.