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Stressed Out? Play Some Tetris

by Sean P. Aune | November 14, 2010November 14, 2010 12:00 pm PDT

As someone who has owned more copies of Tetris than I care to count, I could have told anyone who cared to know that the game is a stress reliever. However, Oxford University decided to conduct a study of 60 people to figure out what any long time gamer could have just told them off the top of their head.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Oxford University conducted a test with 60 participants that exposed them to 30 minutes of traumatic images. The researchers then took a third of them and had them play Tetris, another third played a pub quiz and the final third were left with nothing to do.

TetrisAnyone want to take a guess what the researchers found to be the best solution?

What was discovered was that the study participants who played Tetris had the least number of flashbacks to the disturbing video, while those that played the pub quiz game had the highest number of recollections of the video.  This has led many to claim this game would be a good solution for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but we think that may be a bit of a stretch in what exactly will happen for those folks.

Also, how do they know it’s just Tetris?  Is it any puzzle game?  Would a crossword help them just as much?  Sure it’s fun to point to classic game and say what it could do, and if you have PTSD you should give it a try, but just testing one thing seems a bit silly to me, as do all the proclamations in headlines saying Tetris is a “cure”.

Tetris is a wonderful game, one I enjoy time and time again, but before you ask your doctor for a perception, realize how shaky this test appears.  Test a couple more games and get back to with your data, but this really does seem to have been a little weak with only one game being used.

What say you?  Would Tetris calm you down?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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