Google’s Tetris logo
Do your remember Tetris? Well, if you were a sharp-eye’d Googler today you’d have noticed the special version of their logo celebrating 25 years of addictive block-plonking. It was an occasion fit to be reported by the UK Telegraph and WMBF News.com (among others).
Then, if you clicked on the Google logo, you got a list of lots of relevant places – including links to sites where one can play Tetris. That’s how I found that tetris.com have an online adaptation of the old ’89 version… yep, monochrome – complete with the old music. Guess who didn’t get quite so much done in the studio today? (You didn’t need to know where to find it either, did you?) My excuse is that stuff’s been a bit tough in Studio A these past weeks and more than a few games of my old favourite was somehow soothing this morning. And, when I interrupted my typing to go find the name of the music – so I could tell you that listening to bla bla bla was a lot better than humming the ancient campfire number “No body loves me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms” (I told you it was bad) – I discovered, courtesy of Wikipedia, that more than a couple of people (who appear to know about these things) confirm that the mood-enhancement wasn’t all in my head… (so to speak).
According to intensive research from Dr. Michael Crane and Dr. Richard Haier, et al. prolonged Tetris activity can also lead to more efficient brain activity during play. When first playing Tetris, brain function and activity increases, along with greater cerebral energy consumption, measured by glucose metabolic rate. As Tetris players become more proficient, their brains show a reduced consumption of glucose, indicating more efficient brain activity for this task…
In January 2009, an Oxford University research group headed by Dr Emily Holmes reported in PLoS ONE that for healthy volunteers, playing ‘Tetris’ soon after viewing traumatic material in the laboratory reduced the number of flashbacks to those scenes in the following week. They believe that the computer game may disrupt the memories that are retained of the sights and sounds witnessed at the time, and which are later re-experienced through involuntary, distressing flashbacks of that moment. The group hope to develop this approach further as a potential intervention to reduce the flashbacks experienced in PTSD, but emphasized that these are only preliminary results.
So, there we go. Stressed out? Play Tetris.