Virtue of video games: Teenage gamers are better at surgery than doctors, according to study

Having trouble convincing your parents to let you play video games until your eye balls bleed? Or, as a parent, are you looking for a compelling reason to justify the insane hours your children spend on video games? Or, as a girlfriend, do you want to find justification for why your boyfriend prefers to play Call of Duty with his pals all night instead of spending time with you? Then this article is for you.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) ran a study seeing how well high school students — who play an average of two hours of video games a day — perform at simulated surgery using robotic tools (did you expect them to let high schoolers cut open real people?) than medical residents (doctors in post-medical school training). What did they find? The high school students performed “slightly better than our physicians in training”. The kicker? These doctors — who lost to high school students — have taken part in real surgeries in the past.

While it has been hypothesized for the better part of the last decade that video games help improve hand-eye-coordination, no one expected high school students — who have no formal surgical training — to outperform real doctors. Go figure.

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