News Article

Dropping Tetrominoes Might Help with Post Traumatic Stress

Posted by James Newton

Stacking blocks good for you

Anyone who's played Tetris – i.e. everyone ever – can attest to its soothing qualities as they stack block after block aiming to create those lovely lines. Now a new study suggests that playing the game isn't just good for fun, it may help to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scientific journal PLoS ONE suggests that playing Tetris can reduce the intrusive flashbacks that often accompany post-traumatic stress disorder. The same couldn't be said for all games, with the study finding Pub Quiz actually lead to an increase in flashbacks.

The healing power of Tetris lasts for hours after the initial trauma, with the study saying it has helped in the search for a "post-trauma cognitive vaccine".

[via pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com]

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User Comments (20)

HipsterDashie

#1

HipsterDashie said:

Although, I suppose it wouldn't help reduce stress if your screens looked anything like those in the screenshot panel above. XD

RantingThespian

#3

RantingThespian said:

I disagree, there are moments when the game gets so fast, I want to throw my controller at the screen. That is stressful, and the post trauma of the screen being broken doesn't help.

Mr_Nose

#4

Mr_Nose said:

I remember downloading Tetris party deluxe for WiiWare and thinking: 'Good ol' Tetris, the perfect puzzle game from my past. Ah the warm and fuzzies just thinking about it.' Tons of game modes, and options, and... online multiplayer!

Then I actually tried the online multiplayer, and was shocked that people could slam the pieces down with alarming speed, like machines, it was as if I was playing in one of those dreams were all your movements are in slow motion, but the rest of the world is in normal speed.

I still wear the scars... you just can't see 'em.

pikku

#5

pikku said:

you guys are just figuring this stuff out? pffft. I figured that out 5 years ago :3

shinesprite

#6

shinesprite said:

I read an article like this 1-2 months ago from some girl who played too much tetris DS and was seeing falling blocks everywhere. like this,
Untitled
this,
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or even this!
Untitled :)

bboy2970

#9

bboy2970 said:

"Anyone who's played Tetris – i.e. everyone ever "

Actually I know someone who hasn't even heard of it. When I was at the dentist last year, I was sitting in the chair waiting and playing Tetris DS. My dentist walks over and asks what it is I'm playing. I told her "Tetris." and she responded with "Oh, I've never heard of that game." O_o

Ren

#10

Ren said:

Cool. Hey shinesprite, do you remember where you read that article? do you have a link? I really like the pics.

SolarJetman

#11

SolarJetman said:

My wife has PTSD and I can see Tetris "distracting" her enough to have beneficial effect.
That said, I find any good video game relaxes me. However, a poorly designed game, such as one with bad play control or a sloppy third-person camera, might do the opposite.

RaylaxStaff

#14

Raylax said:

I presume it helps with post-traumatic stress because it's mind-numbingly boring.

SolarJetman

#15

SolarJetman said:

Kinda like Pokeymen, Raylax?
Needless to say, I love Tetris and have suffered the Tetris Effect. Ironically, one of the best Tetris-inspired puzzlers is Pokemon Puzzle League on the N64 (a.k.a. Tetris Attack on SNES).

TKOWL

#16

TKOWL said:

Why not play Animal Crossing? That's an extremelly relaxing game. I have to agree that Tetris can get pretty stressful at times.

NintyMan

#17

NintyMan said:

Puzzles usually are good for the mind. Tetris can feel relaxing at first, but it wouldn't be when it ups its speed. Still, connecting pieces together gives the brain a good exercise.

ToneDeath

#18

ToneDeath said:

I have a similar theory that humming music from a Mario game can't fail to cheer you up.

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