Tetris could change the way you live. Now who ever thought a tile-matching puzzle video game could do that?
— Dr. Stuart Fischer (@TheFitDr) August 17, 2015
It is true, though. According to Financial Express, a remarkable new study conducted by researchers at Plymouth University has found out that playing Tetris in three-minute bursts can considerably reduce one’s cravings for food, sex and drugs. Researchers made participants play Tetris at random intervals throughout the day, during which they were also monitored for their levels of craving. What they found is indeed astonishing – not only does Tetris reduce the desire for food by almost one-fifth, but also for drugs, including coffee, alcohol and cigarettes, and sex. The benefits of playing the Russian-developed video game remained constant for the entire duration of the seven-day study.
The study was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.
NYC Today reported Jackie Andrade, one of the researchers involved in the study, talking about the Tetris study in more detail.
“The Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity… Playing a visually-interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery. It is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time.”
Jon May, another researcher who was part of the study, said the results can be used to study addictive patterns more closely and also be implemented in rehabilitation centers to stimulate the minds of those who have a short attention span.
“The impact of Tetris on craving was consistent across the week and on all craving types.”
During the experiment, 31 undergraduates – aged 18 to 27 – were prompted seven times a day through text messages to report on any cravings they were feeling while playing Tetris. The participants were also encouraged to report pro-actively, in case they felt a craving even when not prompted from the other end.
According to Youth Health Magazine, cravings went down from 70 percent to 56 percent on an average among the participants who played Tetris, while almost 21 percent of smokers reported better control of smoking habits.
— Amber Case (@caseorganic) August 19, 2015
As a support tool, Tetris can be used to effectively control cravings of people in daily lives, and also those with an acute addiction problem, researchers added.
For those participants who are done with the research, we only hope they do not begin craving for Tetris now.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]