‘Tetris Effect’ is therapy for distracted, anxious minds

‘Tetris Effect’ is therapy for distracted, anxious minds (Engadget)

Tetris has long been used as a psychological tool, since the very first years of its inception at the Dorodnitsyn Computing Center in Moscow in 1984. One of the first people to play the game was psychologist Vladimir Pokhilko, who recognized it immediately as a potential aid in his studies of addiction. More recently, researchers from Oxford University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that playing Tetris after a traumatic event creates a dissociative state that prevents the formation of memories that could lead to PTSD. They suggest putting Tetris in emergency rooms to help patients turn off their active minds while awaiting treatment. Researchers also suggest that Tetris play can be used to alleviate traumatic flashback memories when they occur. This therapeutic power to heal broken minds may apply to other visually demanding games, but it seems uniquely applicable to Tetris, where the premise of the game is to bring order out of chaos and make things fit properly. And perhaps this has something to do with those Tetris memories being a different kind of memory.