Mar 30, 2017 08:18 AM EDT
A new study conducted by Oxford University and Karolinska Institute suggests that playing Tetris could reduce stress and block bad memories. The popular puzzle game appears to be capable of more than just entertaining people. Well, technically, it still does the same thing, only in a therapeutic way.
Seventy-one patients admitted at the Oxford Hospital were asked to the test subjects. These individuals recently suffered traumatic road accidents. To illustrate, half of the group were asked to remember the car crash and then play Tetris for about 20 minutes. The remaining half was used for comparison later in the research.
Per Science Daily, the respondents took the gaming test within six hours of their accident. The next week after that, the participants tried to list bad memories of the crash in a daily diary. Apparently, those who played Tetris have experienced 62 percent fewer intrusive retentions than the control group.
Thus, the researchers from the Oxford University and Karolinska Institute labeled the game as a "therapeutic vaccine". It somehow erases parts of a very stressing situation. Moreover, the brevity and affordability of the process make it a very viable and scalable option for many.
In fact, non-specialists could also administer the therapy. On the other hand, the experts claim that other visual entertainments like Candy Crush hold similar benefits. Nevertheless, painting and drawing are still two of the best therapeutic activities for distressing.
According to Smithsonian, this is not the first study conducted about Tetris. Actually, one of the lead authors of the latest research, Lalitha Iyadurai, was also part of the 2012 Tetris investigation team. In it, researchers showed a "disturbing" film to a group of people. Iyadurai, for the record, is a renowned clinical psychologist.
Within a period of six hours, the participants were asked to play Tetris, answer a trivia, or do nothing at all. Of course, those who chose to play had fewer flashbacks of the film. For those who are wondering, memories are believed to last longer if not interrupted within six hours. Lastly, for yet unknown reasons, subjects who were asked to answer trivia questions reported the most negative flashbacks.
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