Super Mario for surgeons
Do video games have a place in medicine, beyond procrastination?
- By: Rhys Davies
After a long day in hospital, I want to relax. Automatically, I fire up the Xbox. But guilt sets in. Sighing resignedly, I put down the controller and pick up the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine. But are video games a waste of time, or do they have their uses?
Video games are serious business. In 2011, UK sales of video games overtook DVDs for the first time.1 With sales amounting to £1.93bn (€2.4bn; $3.2bn), they have become the largest entertainment sector in the United Kingdom.1 Worldwide, annual revenues for video games exceed £32bn.2
As well as being a fun way to unwind, video games can also be used to inform and educate. Soldiers and pilots in training use video games to practise their technique.3 But what can these games offer the world of medical education?
Surgical trainees often relish the chance to participate in theatre, but gaining the experience