Online Games and Medicines

With each passing decade, more and more of society has spent a healthy portion of their lives playing video games. The unwarranted stigma that video games are toys, facile activities for children, or worse yet, a unbecoming, deleterious evil wrought upon our communities, is evaporating with time and the hackneyed ideas of the elder generation. Now that the stereotypes associated with video games are rapidly vanishing, the question then becomes what effect, positive or negative, video games actually have. Rather than rely on our own equally misleading biases toward video games, we must turn to scientific data and experts to see how video games, online games and the internet affect our overall health and healthy living.

Many medical professionals and medical students believe video games can be a valuable teaching tool for generations to come. Massive multiplayer online games in particular, such as darkorbit, provide rich environments from which young players can learn to manage systems and hone structural concepts. They also provide a rich swath of interaction that could otherwise not be gained from a conventional lifestyle. For adults, video games can replace the stilted text in many medical journals with interactive, virtual instruction. Simulators are already in place in pilot and flight training, as well as in fitness, medical education, and the effect of various medicines.

A recent survey of more than 200 med students indicated that more than three quarters would participate in massive multiplayer online games focused around health care simulation. Close to 80 percent approve the use of online game/s in education. Researches have found that doctors who play video games for at least three hours a week made roughly 1/3 fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery, and showed greater dexterity in performing the procedure, finishing at a rate 27 percent faster than their non-gaming cohorts.

Citing space oriented online games like darkorbit, video games can help foster the imagination of children and lead to better and more healthy living. They can be the inspiration for the next wave of astronauts, dreamers, exploring the universe that is world-less and full. Gaming is also reported to buoy overall mood and happiness, which is important to general well-being, and provides a role playing escape that other mediums cannot replicate. While excessive play has been linked to addictive patterns and insomnia, playing online games in moderation can be both informative and medicinal.

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