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JSLS. 2012 Oct-Dec;16(4):612-8. doi: 10.4293/108680812X13462882737294.

Comparison of Nintendo Wii and PlayStation2 for enhancing laparoscopic skills.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA. Rujin_ju@med.unc.edu



The increase in laparoscopic surgery has led to a growing need to train residents in this skill. Virtual reality simulators and box trainers have been used as educational tools outside of the operating room, but both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. Video games have been an area of interest in the search for other modalities to train residents. Experience with the traditional single controller unit video games have been correlated with better surgical skill acquisition. In 2006, Nintendo introduced the Wii, a novel gaming modality that mimics movements in laparoscopy better than traditional games do. Our objective was to compare the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation2 for enhancing laparoscopy skills.


The study included stratified randomization of 23 less experienced ( 12 laparoscopy cases per year) and 19 more experienced ( 12 per year) physicians, residents, and medical students to 30 min of Wii versus PlayStation2 in a university-affiliated hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Pre- and posttest bead transfer and suturing scores were obtained.


Baseline characteristics were similar for both video game groups. Participants assigned to Wii and PlayStation2 both demonstrated significant improvement in bead transfer. Neither Wii nor PlayStation2 participants improved in suturing scores. The Wii group improved more in bead transfer scores when compared to the PlayStation2 group (60 points vs. 40 points, respectively), but this difference was not statistically significant.


Both Wii and PlayStation2 significantly improved laparoscopic skills in bead transfer. These video games may be inexpensive alternatives to laparoscopy training simulators.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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