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The Top Nine Ways Video Games Save Lives

by John_Scrovak   January 11, 2010 at 10:00AM  |  Views: 1,672

Thanks to infamous and now disbarred Florida attorney Jack Thompson, the majority of parents absent and clueless in their children's lives now believe video games are responsible for school shootings, random murders, and any number of tragedies. Not only is this complete and utter dirge, playing video games just might save your life.

Source: Mike Harrington/Stone/Getty Images

By John Scrovak

9.  Crossing The Street Gets Fun!

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Source: Department for Transport

In all honesty, I'm fairly certain this game sucks.  Then again, I'm the sort of gamer who would rather be fragging Nazis, Russkies, and commies in an FPS.  If I were about four or five years old, though, I would totally be down to play some Code Of EverlandCode of Everland is an MMORPG created and sponsored by the British government as part of the THINK! campaign.  THINK! is aimed at teaching young children how to cross the road, to prevent the deaths caused by a child wandering into the street and being struck by a vehicle.  This safety lesson, disguised as a fun game, is just the thing needed to save these children's lives.  Anyone who would protest the benefit of video games very obviously hates children, and hopes they get hit by cars.

 

8.  Raise Money For Disease Research

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Source: Image Source/Getty Images

Whether you've played a game a thousand times and gotten tired of it, or you beat it once, chances are you've got an old video game lying around you want to get rid of.  You could take it to some place like Gamestop and get credit for it (credit which amounts to less than the cost of gas to actually get it there), or you can donate it.  Yup, DonateGames.org accepts donated video games, which it resells at a discount price.  The catch?  100% of proceeds go to research cures and fighting rare diseases.  There really is no way to get more lifesaving than this.  Actively donating to help fight rare diseases?  Surely, even Jack Thompson could get behind an effort like that!

 

7.  Treating Dozens of Burn Victims

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Source: Thomas Tolstrup/Iconica/Getty Images

Hospitals are generally a great place to go for medical help.  Certainly better than Uncle Ned and his Robitussin and "booster shots."  As great as they are, they can not all be as well equipped and trained in as many areas as others.  For example if you were to fall down and hit your head while climbing glaciers in Alaska, the nearest level 1 trauma center is in Washington state.  Similarly, hospital burn wards are not very large, as burns do not occur as frequently as Emergency Room visits.  What happens, though, when a refinery explodes, an entire beach population falls asleep under the sun, or Steven Segal becomes a cop?  That's right, many fiery deaths, especially from underprepared hospitals.

Enter Burn CenterBurn Center is a game developed to help nurses, doctors, and surgeons deal with large scale, worst-case-scenario events in which dozens, or even hundreds, of patients would come in with severe burns.  The life-like game takes them through the triage, procedures, prioritization of care, and treatments of each patient, so if something like an explosion at a theme park were to occur, the medical professionals at the nearest hospital would be able to maximize the lives saved. Note that this does not help if Steven Segal both becomes a cop, and enters the hospital in question.

 

6. Military Trains Soldiers in Theaters They Don't Fight In

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Source: Chris Ryan/OJO Images/Getty Images

The U.S. military has used video games and combat simulators for years to train soldiers, sailors, pilots, and marines for everything they could face in the field.  While these simulations have yet to cover the zombie apocalypse, rest assured, they probably will someday.  Seriously, they need to.  That's the threat no one will know how to handle, and where the military will be needed most.

Until then, the Army's PEOSTRI organization has released an entire library of new video games as tools for the soldiers.  Rather than combat, these games specialize in training military personnel for the cultures involved in every possible theater they could fight in.  The purpose of this training is to familiarize troops with cultures to understand the processes behind the local military, leadership, etc. in order to more tactically eliminate resistance with minimal loss of life on either side.  This is quite possibly the first case in which video games help eliminate war, once again proving the geeks superior to dirty hippies.


5. Play Video Games, Fight Cancer

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Source: Mark Harmel/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

It's now official.  Whosoever opposes video games now supports cancer.  Extra Life, an event sponsored by Sarcastic Gamer, is a Texas-based lock-in for gamers.  Gaming consoles and games are provided.  Game fuel is provided in the form of sodas and chips.  For about $42, you get locked into a performing arts center where you stay up all night gaming.  Where does the cancer come in, you ask?  100% of proceeds go straight into the coffers of the Texas Children's Cancer Fund.  By staying up all night gaming, you are effectively battling children's cancer.  And commies, Nazis, aliens, and zombies.  Fight cancer and support video games.

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