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Playing Tetris Is Good For You!

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Playing Tetris May Reduce Post-Traumatic Stress

That’s right! That game with the blocks, that NEVER displays the words “You Win”, but you keep playing it anyway, apparently may help reduce post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to a new study out of Oxford University, playing Tetris a few hours after trauma exposure can help prevent flashbacks, which are typically a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the study, based on two experiments, 60 participants watched a film containing scenes of injury and death. After a 30-minute structred break, 20 participants played Tetris, another 20 played quiz video game Pub Quiz, while the remaining subjects did nothing.

Those who played the puzzle-like game had fewer flashbacks of the traumatic film than any of the others did, while those who played Pub Quiz had the most flashbacks out of any of the groups!

Our conclusion: Tetris good, knowledge bad…at least after experiencing a traumatic event.

Chronic trauma flashbacks are usually made up of sensory, visual images. Participating in visually oriented tasks — such as playing a puzzle-like game along the lines of Tetris — will interfere with other visual memories and help reduce flashbacks.

By contrast, performing verbal tasks after a traumatic event — like playing a quiz game — compete more with the part of the brain that helps people make sense of what they’ve experienced.

This supports our notion that we have been explaining to our parents and teachers for years: “I don’t need to learn this crap, it’s only giving me a headache because I’m having so many post-traumatic flashbacks!"

But seriously kids, stay in school.

[Image via AP Images.]

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