It was discovered that a game of Tetris can reduce addiction symptoms among players.
The block arranging game called Tetris has proven beneficial in more than one way. It is an addict’s best friend. Those who played the game on a regular basis decreased their craving for junk food and harmful drugs. The slashing of addiction rates was one fifth which is a lot.
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The experiments got carried out in the field and not in a lab. As for the study in a lab setting, it too reached the same conclusions. The findings were on food. The results could get extrapolated to tobacco consumption, liquor, caffeine, sexual habits and insomnia.
Researchers have their own theories. They explain why this effect should be so prominent among Tetris players. The experience of stacking or collecting entities acts as a substitute.
That is for accumulating the substance you happen to get addicted to. The game is a good alibi for the things an addict tends to abuse on a chronic basis. The players are busy stacking the blocks one on top of another. There is little time to think of a chocolate bar or a shot of cocaine.
The preoccupation of the mental processes are responsible for this amazing effect. 31 undergraduates participated in the study. Their ages ranged between 18 and 27. These participants texted their craving status while engaged in playing the game.
The reporting back took place at least 7 times per day. Half of them were a control group. Food and drink cravings are reported to take up 30% of the time. Other things such as tobacco, liquor and caffeine took up 21% of the time.
As for the other addictions they ranged from sex to sleep to playing computer games. Socializing was the healthiest of the addictions.
Small amounts of time spent playing Tetris had a feedback effect. Cravings got reduced by 70% to 56%. Researchers have labeled the game an ideal tool. That is to reduce cravings and addictions that have no other healthy substitutes.
And the good thing is that Tetris has an anti-addiction effect. That is throughout the range of substances that have the potential for being addictive. In fact, the game itself is so addictive that it could take the place of any other addiction.
This is salubrious news. Addicts and junkies can now kiss their personal poisons goodbye. It may seem a strange process to use the services of a video game to counter constant cravings. But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
The study was published in Addictive Behaviors.