Anyone who’s ever played one of the most popular games in the world will surely already know how enchanting is Tetris. But, instead of regretting the time you’ve spent playing this 8-bit game, try being happy about it. And according to some new research, this should be relatively easy for anyone.
That’s because a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, named Kate Sweeny, found that playing this game isn’t a waste of time. According to her newest research, spending time arranging all of the different blocks into perfect rows of ten can ease people who are going through any anxious period of their life. This is due to the mindset that the player achieves when engaging with the game, which is a very blissfully engrossed state which most psychologists refer to as ‘flow’.
According to Sweeny, this is the state when a person is completely absorbed or engaged in whatever activity they are doing at the moment. In this state, people can easily lose their self-awareness and not notice how fast time is passing them by. The study was published in the journal Emotion, and it focuses on people who had been waiting for some uncertain or some life-altering news. The results showed that the flow, induced by a game of Tetris, helped them cope much easier with the situation.
The psychologist, along with her collaborators, put together a group of over 300 students and told everyone that their peers were going to evaluate the participants on their physical attractiveness. And while the students were waiting on their results of the evaluation, they were told to play Tetris. Some of them were playing an easy version of the game, which really bored them, while some played a challenging version, thus, frustrating them. But the group that played the classic version, which is the one that adapts to a player’s skill, easily got them to the desired state of flow. In the end, everyone was worried, but the last group reported a higher level of positive emotions and a lower level of negative.
Now, perhaps Tetris won’t be the game that’s going to help you achieve flow in your life, but there are plenty of other games, whether online or offline, that can help you achieve the same thing, with the same results. In fact, it can be any activity which completely grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. This is going to help you boost your mood and manage your stress levels. And if all else fails, there’s always Tetris.