Some may say that video games are distorting reality and are responsible for rotting minds, but what they do not know is that they actually protect your mental health. A new study indicates that Tetris appears to block the brain’s ability to process traumatic memories, making it harder for it to store them. Tetris is a classic game in which the player needs to align irregular geometric shapes, controlling the visual and spatial system of the brain.
- Researchers proved that video games can help people have fewer traumatic flashbacks after an accident.
- Also by playing the game, gamers could also learn how to cope with cravings in real life.
- This game is bound to block your brain’s ability to process traumatizing experiences.
Those traumatic memories become less likely to be recalled as intrusive, alleviating flashbacks. Traumatic memories could contribute to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, depression, and other mental health problems. Researchers also indicated that Tetris is also helpful in ‘treating’ people suffering from addiction and cravings.
The mental grasp of Tetris can decrease the intensity of cravings and help players combat their real-life addiction. Even if further research needs to be done and the current conclusions are based on insignificant studies, it is clear that playing video games also has some side effects. Nevertheless, playing Tetris is harmless.
Previous research developed by Emily Holmes, a clinical psychologist and her colleagues suggested that Tetris may be blamed for interrupting memory processing immediately after a traumatizing experience had occurred. Their study revealed that after going through a trauma, there is a time span of several hours when a traumatic memory ‘consolidation’ could be interrupted. Researchers established that playing Tetris could hijack the spatial and visual brain’s processing power could cause the disruption of memories during that time span.
Nevertheless, back then in 2009 and 2010, when this study was developed, the participants who were tested were ‘traumatized’ only because of seeing videos of terrible surgeries or deadly traffic collisions. Now, in the new study develop by Holmes which was published in Molecular Psychiatry, specialists developed a survey with participants who were victims of traffic accidents.
About 70 people were enrolled in this study. They had all arrived in emergency departments in hospitals from Oxford, UK and were enrolled in the research at six hours after their accident. About 37 of these subjects were asked to play Tetris while the rest were resting or chatting. In the end, Tetris players reported experiencing flashbacks 8.7 times during that week, while those who did not play it declared 23.3 disturbing flashbacks from their accidents.
Thus, playing video games may sometimes help keep you sane after experiencing some dreadful things.
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