Playing Tetris for Just a Few Minutes Can Block Cravings for Drugs, Food, Sex and Sleep

Science says there are health benefits to shifting blocks into strategic arrangements.

Research from the University of Plymouth has determined Tetris, the Greatest Game of All Time, to be a viable antidote to cravings for drugs, food, sleep and even sex. The week-long study suggests playing for as little as three minutes can reduce one’s desire for such indulgences by approximately one-fifth.

“We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity,” says professor Jackie Andrade. “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.”

It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that cognitive interference hinders a person’s ability to fully commit mental energy and effort to more than one thing at a time, but the Tetris effect is especially notable because it tends to last even after playing and isn’t thrown off by urges like, say, being lured away from the game by a teasing pack of cigarettes on your desk.

The real problem starts when you develop an addiction to Tetris and have nothing left to control the craving.

Life starts now: