Tetris is one of the most well-known games in the world and has been adapted to suit every significant game console, operating system or mobile phone on the market since its inception in 1984. But here’s one application of Tetris that you might not have considered. Researchers at the University of Plymouth and Australia’s Queensland University of Technology published a study this month in the journal Addictive Behaviors that suggests playing Tetris for just a few minutes can significantly reduce your given cravings.
The Science Behind It
The study included 24 females and 7 males between the ages of 18 to 27 years. They were divided into two groups, with both groups receiving text messages seven times per day asking them about their individual cravings like food, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, sexual intercourse and video games.
The participants were asked whether they had indulged in the item or activity they craved and whether they were currently craving anything (on a scale of 1 to 100). One group was asked to play Tetris for three minutes, then to respond to the same questions a second time.
This Tetris-playing group reported a post-game reduction in cravings ranging from 56% to 70%. This effect worked on all types of craving and was consistent throughout the experiment period.
Researchers have high hopes that games like Tetris could become a component of therapy to wean people off their addictions. This is the third study this month to suggest that non-monetary gaming activity could play a role in mitigating addictive behaviour.
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