Tetris has long been considered one of the best computer games for passing the time. Recently, the building blocks game has even been found to treat amblyopia (lazy eye) and psychological issues like PTSD. Now, researchers have discovered that Tetris can help fight off cravings for food and stronger vices like drugs and alcohol. The study found that just 3 minutes of Tetris playing can reduce cravings by almost 20 percent.
“Playing Tetris decreased craving strength for drugs, food, and activities from 70% to 56%.” says Professor Jackie Andrade of Plymouth University’s School of Psychology and the Cognitive Institute.
Psychologists at University of Queensland in Australia, as well as Plymouth University, made the Tetris craving reducer discovery after a seven-day study which reportedly consisted of monitoring the cravings of 31 undergraduate students, aged 18-27. Incorporating modern technology, the researchers prompted 15 of the students to submit their cravings via text message after playing Tetris on an iPod for the recommended three minutes, according to UPI.
The post-Tetris gaming results showed that 30 percent of the subjects had cravings for food and non-alcoholic drink. Another 20 percent had craving for alcoholic drinks,and drugs. The remaining 16 percent of the undergraduates subjects craved sexual intercourse, sleep, video games, and socialization after playing Tetris. Based on the results, researchers believe that the cause of decreased craving during and after playing Tetris is because of the intense stimulation that the game provides. This stimulation fills a desire and decreases the probability of a desire for stimulation elsewhere.
Through the week in which the study took place, Professor John May noticed that the Tetris study results were consistent on each day of the study.
“People played the game 40 times on average but the effect did not seem to wear off. This finding is potentially important because an intervention that worked solely because it was novel and unusual would have diminishing benefits over time as participants became familiar with it.”
Overall, playing Tetris reduced the cravings in individuals fro 70 percent of just 56 percent. Tetris is therefore more effect at preventing craving than gum, which showed a 10 percent decrease in craving when it was studied.
The report which details the study of the effects of Tetris on cravings is published in Addictive Behaviors, an international journal. The study concluded that Tetris does, in fact, decrease cravings across the board and that Tetris is a great tool for brain stimulation. Because of it’s remarkable effects on the 31 study subjects, the researcher recommend further study of Tetris and it’s ability to treat and alter certain psychological conditions.
[Image via EA]