Tetris – improving lives, one row at a time

Researchers at Oxford university have found that playing tetris after viewing traumatic events can reduce the occurrence of flashbacks and help reduce the impact of problems like PTSD. http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2010/101111.html Researchers seem to think that the brain has two separate channels, sensory and conceptual, which deal with events that we experience. After experiencing trauma, the channels are unbalanced as sensory is emphasized. Tetris competes with that same channel and so helps to reduce the impact of the traumatic event. However, this effect only seems to impact an individual if tetris is played within a few hours of the event.

If this research holds true it could be used to help treat these stress disorders and help soldiers recover from the terrors of war. Maybe a gameboy will even become standard issue. Understanding how games impact the thought process of those playing the game can really help to improve therapy sessions for numerous ailments, both physical and mental. Good games naturally encourage play and when used in therapy provide that motivation to practice that therapy needs to truly be effective. Research like this can greatly improve how people recover and improve their own lives.

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