Video Game Tetris May Reduce Cravings
A recent study published in Addictive Behaviors found that playing the video game Tetris decreased addiction by 56 to 70 percent and also helped reduce cravings in under three minutes (Ackerman, 2015).
Thirty-two undergraduate students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-seven were monitored while they played Tetris for a week. Researchers had the participants play in “everyday environments” and report their cravings seven times throughout the day.
Interestingly, the study that was supposed to be determining the effect of Tetris on food cravings determined that it reduced cravings for much more—drugs, alcohol, coffee, and sex. Twenty-one percent of participants had cravings for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or coffee; 66 percent reported cravings for food and nonalcoholic drinks; and 16 percent had cravings for video games, sleep, and sex (Ackerman, 2015).
According to Jackie Andrade, a professor from the University of Plymouth’s School of Psychology, “We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity. Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery; it is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time” (Ackerman, 2015).
Ackerman, M. (2015). Study finds Tetris reduces food and drug cravings. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/study-finds-tetris-reduces-food-and-drug-cravings