Print 15 comment(s) - last by GuinnessKMF.. on Nov 12 at 9:42 AM

  (Source: Technabob)

This phenomena not common to all games; some have the opposite effect.

While researchers at John Hopkins University are working hard to help people erase bad memories, a team of scientists at Oxford University have discovered how to use video games to reduce traumautic flashbacks.

Researchers have found that the video game Tetris has the ability to reduce flashbacks after viewing traumatic images.  Other games used do not have the same impact, in fact some games worsen the effect.

The researchers compared the effectiveness of Tetris at reducing flashbacks with Pub Quiz Machine 2008, a word-based quiz game. They found that playing Tetris reduced flashbacks while Pub Quiz increased them.

In the first of two experiments, researchers had healthy adults watch a film containing traumatic content.  Thirty minutes after the film, 20 volunteers played Tetris for 10 minutes, 20 played  Pub Quiz and 20 were instructed to just do nothing.

The researchers found that people in the Tetris group reported fewer flashbacks of images from the film than people in the Pub Quiz and those who did nothing.

The study's second experiment was extended to four hours, with 25 volunteers in each group.  Again, Tetris players experienced significantly fewer flashbacks.

"Our latest findings suggest Tetris is still effective as long as it is played within a critical six-hour window after viewing a stressful film," said Dr Emily Holmes of Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry. "While playing Tetris can reduce flashback-type memories without wiping out the ability to make sense of the event, we have shown that not all computer games have this beneficial effect – some may even have a detrimental effect on how people deal with traumatic memories."

The researchers suggest that a cognitive vaccine treatment could be developed to help reduce flashbacks experienced in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 "While this work is still experimental, and any potential treatment is a long way off, we are beginning to understand how intrusive memories/flashbacks are formed after trauma, and how we can use science to explore new preventative treatments," said Dr. Holmes. 

A report of the research published in this week's edition of the journal PLoS ONE can be found here.


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Oh No!
By BuckinBottoms on 11/11/2010 3:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
That song is still stuck in my head. The song that played in the background of the old gameboy tetris version. And the flashback is in that green monotone color.


RE: Oh No!
By Breathless on 11/11/2010 3:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
dum, da da dum, da da dum, da da dum, da da dum - da dum dum dum dum dum....

RE: Oh No!
By solarrocker on 11/11/2010 3:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
ta ta tata ta ta tata....

RE: Oh No!
By Smartless on 11/11/2010 4:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
Duuude that's the theme from Bubble Bobble. Doesn't it go more... da dum dum da dum... ah forget it.

RE: Oh No!
By w1z4rd on 11/12/2010 12:09:31 AM , Rating: 2
NOOOOOOOOO, now i got the song stuck in my head too :( why?! it took me ages as a kid to get that song unstuck lol

RE: Oh No!
By sprockkets on 11/11/2010 10:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
I love that theme. In fact, they made a cool version for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I don't know where it is or how to get it in the actual game, but if you download the soundtrack via bt, it is in there.

RE: Oh No!
By sprockkets on 11/11/2010 10:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Oh No!
By karlostomy on 11/12/2010 4:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder...
By BadAcid on 11/11/2010 2:10:39 PM , Rating: 3
Was this the case 20+ years ago?
You get that theme music playing and images of the Kremlin flash by...

RE: I wonder...
By AssBall on 11/11/2010 4:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking along the same lines. Tetris was one of the first Nintendo games we got. In the back of the manual it said WARNING: may CAUSE seisures, twitching, and a list of other related problems. Makes me wonder too.

The king of video games
By gstrickler on 11/11/2010 5:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
Such a simple concept, yet 20+ years later it still persists on virtually every platform that can play games, and scientists keep finding it has advantages in cognitive and/or behavioral science. Long live Tetris!

RE: The king of video games
By w1z4rd on 11/12/2010 12:11:28 AM , Rating: 2

By 1reader on 11/11/2010 2:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
Guile's theme is known to induce flashbacks. I bet it would go well with this study.

By RivuxGamma on 11/11/2010 7:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder what war games like Call of Duty, etc. would do for flashbacks?

By GuinnessKMF on 11/12/2010 9:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
We've got contact! Charlie in the trees! ... Oh wait, if I place a T block here, I can.. yup that did it, trees gone, we're good guys.

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