BBC Future column: The Psychology Of Tetris

Everybody knows and loves Tetris, but just why is it so appealing? Detailed psychology explanation linked. On a related note, Tetris has also been used to reduce the effects of PTSD (http://www.slate.com/blogs/trending/2012/04/26/playing_tetris_helps_reduce_effects_of_ptsd.html). There’s even been a scientific paper written on the beloved falling blocks – http://adrenaline.ucsd.edu/kirsh/articles/cogscijournal/DistinguishingEpi_prag.pdf.

“Tetris holds our attention by continually creating unfinished tasks. Each action in the game allows us to solve part of the puzzle, filling up a row or rows completely so that they disappear, but is also just as likely to create new, unfinished work. A chain of these partial-solutions and newly triggered unsolved tasks can easily stretch to hours, each moment full of the same kind of satisfaction as scratching an itch … The other reason why Tetris works so well is that each unfinished task only appears at the same time as its potential solution – those blocks continuously fall from the sky, each one a problem and a potential solution.”

BBC Future column: The Psychology Of Tetris

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