Study: Tetris wipes out bad memories, heals trauma


Could this be why so many people play it at work?

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One of the oldest toys in computing history, Tetris, has the power to heal trauma, according to new research by Oxford University psychologists.

To perform the study, Oxford researchers showed subjects graphic images of violence: accidents, crushed skulls, bloody entrails and so forth. Then they asked half the group to play Tetris. The Tetris players reported fewer bad memories of the ugly images than did those who did not play the game.

Naturally, the researchers are looking into how this may help people (certainly military vets) deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Dr. Emily Holmes of Oxford's psychiatric department, the results are because Tetris helps blocks the mind from storing painful memories. The catch? You must play the game immediately after the traumatic experience. (Pack your emergency Gameboy, folks.)

More specifically, according to Holmes, Tetris has such an effect because the game, for which you must have intense concentration, competes for your brain's resources for sensory information, and interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma. As a result, less flashbacks are experienced afterwards.

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Avatar pumpi76 -
it might just boost IQ too...
Avatar pumpi76 -
i think it stimulates the creative part...LIke if you gave that game to a little child from small and dont let him play with nothing else...Who know..
Avatar spy153 -
I read the same thing somewhere else on the web, and again in a different story a magazine.

My theory why this works---because it does very well---is because it forces you to concentrate on something new instead of dwelling on the past. We do it, not realizing we are doing it (dwelling on the past.) If we can just occupy our minds long enough to let our bodies recuperate, we can overcome the bad stuff. Some things just might take longer than others, but I believe it can work for the really tough stuff like post traumatic stress disorders.

I have suffered this too, and know from experience that this is what it takes to recuperate and come out of it. Anything that "feels safe" and is addictive enough to get you at it everyday would work. It doesn't have to be tetris. I like Poppit on Yahoo games and Sweetooth. Simple games that are easy and have happy overtones work best for me.   It takes a repetitive thinking pattern over a traumatic period to put the bad stuff there. So to get over it you will have to do a repetitive process such as these games to instill some happiness back into your brain. Staying away from the news helps as well, especially for vets.

And lets not forget the power of prayer! Nothing's better than that!

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