Tetris Reduces Stress and Bocks Out Bad Memories
Article by George Norman
On 08 Jan 2009
It seems that playing games is not only a viable means of wasting time, it is also a good way to deal with PTSD (short for post-traumatic stress disorder). PTSD manifests itself when victims of traumatic experiences recall those agonizing memories (have flashbacks).

The whole thing is pretty simple and goes something like this: if you play Tetris after having gone through a traumatic experience, your brain will be too preoccupied with the game to store that bad memory; no recollection of that event equals no post-traumatic stress disorder. The catch is that you must do this immediately after the shock, meaning that putting an old fashion Tetris game in your emergency kit or onto your smartphone or iPhone is not as crazy as it seems.

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Dr Emily Holmes from the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University explains: “This is only a first step in showing that this might be a viable approach to preventing post traumatic stress disorder. Tetris may work by competing for the brain's resources for sensory information. We suggest it specifically interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma and thus reduces the number of flashbacks that are experienced afterwards. We have shown that in healthy volunteers, playing Tetris can reduce flashback-type memories without wiping out the ability to make sense of the event.”

Going a little bit off topic, it must be said that the ones most vulnerable to run into an undesirable situation (from a software, online surfing point of view) are the children. For the concerned parent that wants to keep his little ones out of harm’s way, may I suggest some parental monitoring tools, folder locking software, application access control tool, and just to make things fun a keyboard childproofing application and a Firefox game oriented add-on.



Tags: Tetris, PTSD
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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