, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1824-1828

Nintendo Wii video-gaming ability predicts laparoscopic skill

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Abstract

Background

Studies using conventional consoles have suggested a possible link between video-gaming and laparoscopic skill. The authors hypothesized that the Nintendo Wii, with its motion-sensing interface, would provide a better model for laparoscopic tasks. This study investigated the relationship between Nintendo Wii skill, prior gaming experience, and laparoscopic skill.

Methods

In this study, 20 participants who had minimal experience with either laparoscopic surgery or Nintendo Wii performed three tasks on a Webcam-based laparoscopic simulator and were assessed on three games on the Wii. The participants completed a questionnaire assessing prior gaming experience.

Results

The score for each of the three Wii games correlated positively with the laparoscopic score (r = 0.78, 0.63, 0.77; P < 0.001), as did the combined Wii score (r = 0.82; P < 0.001). The participants in the top tertile of Wii performance scored 60.3% higher on the laparoscopic tasks than those in the bottom tertile (P < 0.01). Partial correlation analysis with control for the effect of prior gaming experience showed a significant positive correlation between the Wii score and the laparoscopic score (r = 0.713; P < 0.001). Prior gaming experience also correlated positively with the laparoscopic score (r = 0.578; P < 0.01), but no significant difference in the laparoscopic score was observed when the participants in the top tertile of experience were compared with those in the bottom tertile (P = 0.26).

Conclusions

The study findings suggest a skill overlap between the Nintendo Wii and basic laparoscopic tasks. Surgical candidates with advanced Nintendo Wii ability may possess higher baseline laparoscopic ability.

S. Badurdeen, O. Abdul-Samad, G. Story, and C. Wilson have equally contributed to this work. S. Down and A. Harris supervised the project and edited the manuscript.
This study won first prize in the Medical Student Prize Presentation Section at the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT) Annual Meeting, Nottingham 2009, and was subsequently presented by invitation at the Association of Surgeons in Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) International Surgical Congress, Glasgow 2009.