The activities we do in our daily life have the power to change our thoughts. The more time we spend on something, the more it affects the way we see the world. So, in some cases, this influence can be very large. This is the case of what is called the Tetris effect.
The Tetris effect takes its name from the famous video game where the goal is to assemble different figures all formed by four cubes so that there is no gap or space between them. This is one of the most addictive video games of all time; people of all ages have spent hundreds of hours there. And according to some studies done on this subject, it could have changed their minds too.
In this article, you'll learn more about what the Tetris effect is and where it can happen. Even if it's not dangerous, this effect speaks volumes about how the mind works. Thus, knowing more about this mental phenomenon will help you better understand its influence.
What is the Tetris effect?
Tetris has been one of the most studied video games in the history of psychology. The way it is designed has allowed us to learn more about certain types of memory, about attention, but also about the processing of information. Now, without a doubt, one of its most interesting effects is the one he produces about how one perceives the world.
Various studies have shown that playing Tetris for a long time can change our thoughts, our mental images and our dreams. People who spend a lot of time on this activity were at the center of his influence. Thus, many have come to perceive the world in the same way as in the video game.
Thus, people who played Tetris frequently found themselves wondering how to assemble different objects from the real world. For example, they were looking for ways to better order supermarket shelves or were trying to visualize how different buildings would fit together if they could move them. Sometimes, they had hallucinations in which they saw imaginary forms falling from the sky.
For others, the Tetris effect led them to see these pieces in their dreams, or even, closing their eyes, in the form of hypnagogic images. None of these symptoms caused problems for those presenting them. However, the researchers were interested in how a simple game could change our perception.
Why does this effect occur?
For some psychologists, the Tetris effect is nothing more than a matter of habit. Some players could devote many hours to this hobby. Therefore, their minds would have become accustomed to seeing the world in the form of figures that can assemble. In this sense, it would be nothing more than a special kind of procedural memory.
On the other hand, various studies that have used magnetic resonances to scan the brain have revealed that Tetris has a direct effect on the configuration of this organ. So, for example, an experiment conducted in 1994 by Okagaki and Frensch showed that playing 12 games of 30 minutes each could make the cerebral gray matter more dense.
This component of the brain is directly related to intelligence, cognitive flexibility, and another set of abilities. That's why we came to the conclusion that playing Tetris could help improve our mental abilities. In this sense, the Tetris Effect would be something very positive for people who are under his influence.
Other cases of the Tetris effect
Changing the way we think and see the world is not just about watching when you play that video game. On the contrary, many activities can alter the way information is processed.
Thus, certain activities such as making a Rubik's Cube at full speed (a practice known as speedcubing) or using programming languages can change our visual perception or the way we use logic, respectively. The same thing happens with mathematics: at an advanced level, they can change the way of understanding reality in those who study them.
This effect may also imply other meanings. Thus, the phenomenon known as "earth ache" (the sensation, arriving on the firm term after a boat trip, that everything moves) would also be a type of Tetris effect. What is certain is that many studies will still be conducted on this subject; This is just the beginning.However, the discovery of this effect gives us an idea of the true potential of our brain.