Playing certain Wii games before surgery can improve a surgeon's performance, a new study has revealed.

Games that "require delicate movements" work well as a warm-up before complicated surgical procedures, with "Marble Mania" coming out top as particularly effective in the tests.

The Banner Good Samaritan Medical Centre team, who carried out the research states that the gaming gives the doctor a warm up and can hone scalpel skills.

They got trainee surgeons to spend an hour playing Wii games before mock-up surgery and they scored nearly 50% higher on tool control and overall performance than the control group.

Rather than just an excuse to get in some gaming action, the group says that the Wii could become an important training tool in developing countries that can't afford expensive virtual reality systems are not available.

The Banner Good Samaritan Medical Centre team are now developing special Wii software to further their work.