Excerpted from I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain are Being Creatively Disrupted @ 2011 by Nick Bilton. Reprinted by Permission of Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Does Your Surgeon Play Video Games?

The next time you have surgery, ask your surgeon if he or she played video games in the past.

A few years ago, researchers quizzed more than thirty surgeons and surgical residents on their video- game habits, identifying those who played video games frequently, those who played less frequently, and those who hardly played at all. Then they put all the surgeons through a laparoscopic surgery simulator, in which thin instruments akin to extremely long chopsticks are inserted into one or more small incisions through the skin along with a small camera that is inserted into an additional small opening. Minimally invasive surgery like this frequently is used for gallbladder removal, gynecologic procedures, and other procedures that once involved major cutting and stitching and could require hours on an operating table.

The researchers found that surgeons or residents who used to be avid video game players had significantly better laparoscopic skills than did those who'd never played. On average, the serious game players were 33 percent faster and made 37 percent fewer errors than their colleagues who didn't have prior video- game experience.

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