If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Tetris helps reduce post-traumatic stress

If only they'd had Game Boys in the trenches.

The BBC is reporting on a bizarre experiment at Oxford University which suggests that playing Tetris can help reduce the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Volunteers in the experiment were shown upsetting images - and then some of them were given Tetris to play half an hour later.

According to the PLoS One journal, the researchers found that Tetris players had fewer flashbacks, and theorised that playing the game disrupted the formation of memories. Or maybe all they could see was falling blocks.

"We wanted to find a way to dampen down flashbacks - the raw sensory images of trauma that are over-represented in the memories of those with PTSD," said Dr Emily Holmes.

"Tetris may work by competing for the brain's resources for sensory information."

Professor David Alexander from the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research begged to differ.

"It is ethically impossible to simulate an event which is so catastrophic as the type of incident which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder," he said, noting that post-traumatic stress is usually only detected weeks after an event, not half an hour afterwards.

Will you support Eurogamer?

We want to make Eurogamer better, and that means better for our readers - not for algorithms. You can help! Become a supporter of Eurogamer and you can view the site completely ad-free, as well as gaining exclusive access to articles, podcasts and conversations that will bring you closer to the team, the stories, and the games we all love. Subscriptions start at £3.99 / $4.99 per month.

About the Author

Oli Welsh avatar

Oli Welsh

Contributor

Oli was Eurogamer's MMO Editor before a seven-year stint as Editor. He worked here for a colossal 14 years, shaping the website and leading it.

Comments

More News

Latest Articles

Supporters Only

Eurogamer.net logo

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer.net Merch