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Adv Med Educ Pract. 2019 Aug 14;10:627-634. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S199323. eCollection 2019.

A prospective study of the effect of video games on robotic surgery skills using the high-fidelity virtual reality RobotiX simulator.

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Department of Urology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen and the Capital Region of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Urology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.



Robot-assisted surgery is a growing field. Prior video game experience might give advantage to novice robotic surgeons.


Assessing if prior video gaming experience gives advantage in performing high-fidelity virtual reality (VR)-simulated robotic surgery.


In this observational study, 30 medical students and 2 interns (17 females; 15 males) with median age 25 years (range, 24-26 years) were recruited and subsequently divided into groups according to prior gaming experience; gamers (≥6 video game hours/week) vs nongamers (<6 video game hours/week). Participants performed VR-simulated urethrovesical anastomosis on RobotiX Mentor, which measured performance parameters. Participants answered a questionnaire for demographics and gaming experience. Groups were compared using Mann-Whitney U and multiple regression.


Gamers significantly outperformed nongamers in 3 of 24 performance metrics (p<0.05), and there was a trend toward better results for 7 of the 21 remaining metrics. Males outperformed females in 5 of 24 metrics (p<0.05) but were overrepresented among gamers.


Prior video game experience >6 hrs/week might give advantage in simulated robotic surgery. We recommend future studies testing this hypothesis to develop simulator programs for certification of robotic surgeons.


computer simulation; procedure specific; robot-assisted surgery; video game; virtual reality

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