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5/25/2006
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Playing Video Games Could Prove Beneficial To Your Health

Before you have that laparoscopic surgery, let's hope your physician played a video game.

Before you have that laparoscopic surgery, let's hope your physician played a video game.A study conducted by New York's Beth Israel Medical Center and the National Institute on the Media and Family found that surgeons who played video games before conducting simulated laparoscopic surgery made fewer mistakes than those who didn't play the games.

As TechWeb's Antone Gonsalves writes as well as reported on The News Show, surgeons who played video games before participating in a performance test involving laparoscopy tools completed the test more than 11 seconds faster than those doctors who didn't play the games. The test is set up so that mistakes add time, which means those who performed the tasks quicker made fewer mistakes.

The doctors are discovering what many business technologists have known for years: Video game technology can be adapted for business purposes. For instance, some of the same visualization technology employed in video games are used by geologists and geophysicists working for energy producers to visualize oil and natural gas reservoirs beneath the earth's surface.

As my InformationWeek colleague Tom Claburn reported last month, advances in user interfaces, graphics, interactivity, and visualization technologies, as well as the need to manage the complexities of modern game development, have brought the two worlds together.

"Businesses could benefit if they find ways to use game technology to make repetitive work more entertaining, whether it's by introducing a more interactive way of accomplishing tasks or adding a competitive element to work," Claburn writes.

And the benefit includes better surgical techniques.

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