A new research has uncovered just this: playing Tetris curbs your cravings. That is, if you get on your smartphone for three minutes every time you think you may want something badly, and play Tetris, then there is an increased chance of you forgetting your desires.
To be precise, this new study looked at food, drink, and drug cravings, which are, in a way, more common. Besides these three, the innovative part of the research is that it also accounts for activity cravings, such as sex, sleeping, and even playing video games.
Yes, one of the conclusions of the scientists is that playing Tetris ca block your desire to play video games. Pretty strange. This would essentially make Tetris the addictive king of video games.
This study is not new, mind you. There have been many showing pretty much the same thing. The big difference comes from the fact that this one was not set in a lab environment. Instead, the researchers let the subjects go about their daily business. This came from the idea that being in a lab can itself alter a person’s normal, daily cravings.
A combined team of psychologists from the University of Technology of Queensland and of the Plymouth University tested 31 undergrad students between the ages of 18 and 27 during the course of seven days. Their final results paper was published just recently in the Addictive Behaviors journal. There it is said that food and drugs cravings were significantly reduced by playing Tetris. The drugs they tested for were cigarettes, alcohol, and coffee – the holy trinity of undergrad students, some might say.
However, the researchers could not test for the most addictive of drugs: illegal drugs and marijuana, and they encourage researchers to pursue this further, with the hopes that it will maybe help the lives of many drug addicts who are battling their dependency.
Plymouth’s Professor Jackie Andrade, working at the Psychology School and Cognition Institute, has said that the numbers were encouraging: overall cravings for food, drugs, and addictive activities dropped by 14%, from 70% to 56%. While this does not completely eliminate the desires, it might help people better deal with them.
Andrade said that Tetris is one of the more engaging games, and to be able to play it correctly, people actually have to devote a great amount of attention to it, despite it being such a simple task overall. The 31 students who received iPod with Tetris installed reported mostly cravings for food and non-alcoholic drinks.
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