games have always been given a modest nod of
tolerance by parents who struggle to see the
benefits of learning how to crash a car into
a tree at 120 miles per hour. But new evidence
is proving that video games have a new respect
in the medical field. And if you suffer from
chronic pain, you soon may be knocking on your
children's door asking, "can you show me
how that controller-thingy works?"
of the best benefits is that there are now video
games like Dance Dance Revolution that can help
you get physically fit. If you've been to a
movie theater or mall lately, you may have noticed
the 3-foot square platform with an arrow on
each side of the square pointing up, down, left
and right. The player may appear as though they
have joined the toddlers in a dance along with
The Wiggles, but the game does take skill. The
player faces a video screen that has arrows
scrolling upward to the beat of a song, and
the player steps on the correlating arrow. Tempted
to try it but not in a public place? The home
version costs about $80 for the game and plastic
dance pad and it includes a "workout mode"
that actually will track how many calories you
study has just been released about the ability
for video games to actually reduce chronic pain.
A group of students from Wheeling Jesuit University
reported from their study that playing sports
and fighting video games produces a dramatic
level of pain distraction. The students presented
the results of the study, "Effects of Video
Game Play Types on Pain Threshold and Tolerance,"
during the University's Seventh Annual Student
Research and Scholarship Symposium, April 4,
study examined 6 genre types (action, puzzle,
arcade, fighting, sport, and boxing). Sports
games and fighting games were able to "produce
a dramatic level of pain distraction."
Some are suggestion that physicians install
more video game consoles in their waiting rooms
to lower the tension of upcoming surgical procedures.
That seems fair, since many surgeons are now
requesting Ipod players in their surgical rooms.
video game may not help just the patient either!
If you must have surgery, you should be glad
to hear that your doctor actually spends some
down time playing video games. Surgeons who
play video games three hours a week have 27
percent fewer errors and accomplish tasks 27
percent faster, claims Dr. James Rosser Jr.,
a top surgeon and director of the Advanced Medical
Technologies Institute at Beth Israel Medical
Center in New York. Rosser and his colleagues
recently brought together surgeons, movie makers,
and video game designers to discuss ways that
better tools to train physicians can be developed.
are hooked up with heart-rate and skin-conduction
monitors on their fingers and they must calm
their body and mind to make the game respond.All
good news, but don't be surprised if your teenagers
here about this news soon too. When they ask
for the next PlayStation sports game and you
say no, he may just respond with, "but
it's good for my health and I may even be training
to be a surgeon!"
a free download of 200 ways to reach out to
someone who is hurting from Beyond
Caseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically
Ill Friend when you sign up for hopenotes,
a monthly ezine. Author of this article, Lisa
Copen is also the founder of Rest
Ministries and National
Invisible Illness Awareness Week.