Tetris can fix that brain of yours

Feeling like you’ve got some bad memories about to come on? No need to see a shrink; just play Tetris!

Video games get a lot of flack these days. They’re often blamed for bad parenting, gun control, excessive drinking & drug use, causing mental anguish, over-competitiveness, and violence among other things.

But one thing that you don’t see people flinging at the face of video games is “fixing people psychologically”. I’m not talking about the Wii helping people walk or Nintendo DS’s “Brain Age” titles helping our older generation’s minds improve one or two notches.

No, here I’m actually talking about one of the most basic games to ever exist.


Yes, the title that almost spawned a fake movie is actually now being said to fix traumatic memories.

Researchers at Oxford University showed people pictures of things that you’d probably otherwise find disturbing, say that of gore, broken skulls, car accidents where people died in horrific circumstances… that sort of thing. They then asked half to play Tetris while the other half did a whole lot of nothing.

The Tetris players were found to have less memory of the disturbing imagery than those who hadn’t played.

According to researchers, this Tetris technique works because of how much of the brain is used to play the old Russian puzzle game.

There is a catch, however. There’s always a catch, isn’t there?

To get the Tetris memory fix to work, people have to play Tetris almost immediately after the bad memories have formed in the mind… which means testing this theory requires carrying the game around with you at all times.

So probably best to carry that old Game Boy, Nintendo DS, or stick Tetris on your iPhone as an “in case of emergency” sort of thing.

Source: CNet