Every time a positive study about our favorite hobby is published, the gaming community rallies and news of it are spread throughout the Internet. Case in point: a study at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York was released yesterday showing that surgeons who play video games have greater operating skills. I couldn’t visit a website yesterday without seeing this posted. I could go into how the industry as a whole sometimes seems to have an inferiority complex, but that’s a topic for another day.
Of course, I’m contributing to the noise by posting it myself, but I found this quote in the CNN article noteworthy.
“Parents should not see this study as beneficial if their child is playing video games for over an hour a day,” Gentile said. “Spending that much time playing video games is not going to help their child’s chances of getting into medical school.”
Obviously being the stereotypical gamer dork and having your life dominated by gaming isn’t healthy nor recommended, but playing games for an hour a day isn’t too bad as long as you have some discipline and can set some limits. Wasn’t there a study that said the average American child watches three hours of TV daily? I would swap out those three hours of TV for an hour of gaming any day.
Oddly enough, I have found that gaming contributed in some way to helping me get into medical school. In a couple of my interviews, the topic was addressed directly as my interviewers found it interesting (I had mentioned my involvement with GamerFeed / GameDaily in the AMCAS application). But more importantly, gaming kept me sane during times of extreme stress with classes and tests so that I didn’t have a meltdown in college. Forget the apple; gaming an hour a day keeps the psychiatrist away.