My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Research shows Tetris cures Cravings and amblyopia

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Research shows Tetris cures Cravings and amblyopia

Now would be a great time to get a US$30 yearly subscription to EA (Electronics Arts) Tetris as I’d reported in Geezam blog article entitled “EA’s Tetris on a US$30 yearly subscription: VIP for Casual & Smartphone Gaming Addicts”. 

This as Tetris cures not only for amblyopia, more commonly known as “lazy eye”  as reported in “Why eye doctors may soon prescribe Tetris”, published April 22, 2013 11:44 AM PDT by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, CNET News but also  your cravings for Junk Food, smoking and possibly other pleasurable habitual activities such as Sexual Intercourse and “Craving junk food or a smoke? Try Tetris instead”, published March 17, 2014 5:07 PM PDT by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, CNET News.

Yes Tetris! Reminds me of the good old days of playing Tetris on my Game Boy Advance with that old Game Cartridge you had to blog and blow before it worked properly!

The “lazy eye” Prescription is on the same level as the recommendation by Dr. James Rosser to have every Doctor play Video Games, particularly MonkeyBall as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Dr. James Rosser of the Celebration Health's Center Hospital proves Video Games improves Surgery - How playing Super Monkey Ball can help Jamaican Doctors make less mistakes”, which amusingly, reveals that he’s probably a big fan of Nintendo than anything else.

Tetris as a Prescription for amblyopia – The Quick Brown Foxy Jumped over the Lazy Eye Dog

That prescription was based on the research of Dr. Robert Hess and his fellow researchers at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who realized that playing Tetris can be a treatment for amblyopia.
This as playing Tetris trains the eyes to work together in much the same way Video Games can improve hand-eye coordination. His paper is published in the Journal Current Biology for anyone with a Credit Card to purchase and read .

In doing their research, they choose 18 adults with amblyopia. The group was divided into two as follows:

1.      9 played Tetris with a Video mounted Goggles with the Weaker eye and with the Stronger eye patched
2.      9 Played Tetris with a Video mounted Goggles with the Weaker eye and the Stronger eye other the ground

The group that had the Video mounted Goggles playing Tetris showed dramatic improvement in the weaker eye, with improved depth perception, with the other group showing only moderate improvement. Interestingly, once the patch was removed, they too also showed the same level of improvement in the weaker eye; apparently having both eyes engaged in the Video Game, even if both could not see it, was what was making the difference.

Tetris and Craving the Pleasurable – Reduced Cravings for Alcohol and Sex as Sex is a Drug

The research of Co-author Jackie Andrade said her team at Plymouth University in the UK as published “Want a cookie? Play Tetris instead”, published Mar 17, 2014 12:12pm EDT BY KATHRYN DOYLE, Reuters followed a similar Tactic. Their aim was to determine if Video Games that provided high levels of visual Stimulation would reduce the strength, frequency, and vividness of cravings for food and drugs such as sweets and alcohol and even sex. You can again, read his research in the Journal Appetite, but again you need to back out your Credit Card!

I mention sex as this activity is associated with increased levels of the production of endorphins such as adrenalin and oxytocin, which albeit naturally produced by the body internally can create addictions similar to externally ingested drugs as noted in “Love Drug? Oxytocin's Tender Effects Questioned”, published February 11, 2011 03:51pm ET by Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer, LiveScience and “ ‘Love hormone' oxytocin: Difference in social perception between men and women”, published July 31, 2013 by University of Haifa, ScienceDaily.

In their study, the 119 mainly female volunteers were chose in a manner such that they had a natural craving instead of being induced. After much sifting, they whittled down the group to a batch of 70 that showed statistically strong natural Cravings, based on their questionnaire parameters:

1.      58 craved food or a drink
2.      12 craved nicotine
3.      10 craved caffeine

This group of 70 was then split in half as follows:

1.      35 played Tetris for three (3) minutes on a Game Console whenever they felt their cravings
2.      35 played Tetris on a Game Console that failed to load, inducing frustration

Interestingly, cravings fell in both halves, but its strength fell significantly more for those experiencing the thrill of Tetris than those frustrated by a Game that failed to load. The meanings of these results are expressed by Dr. David Kavanagh of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, who'd done similar research, quote: “When we want something really badly, it is hard to think about anything else -- and the experience is a very sensory one. It engages our imagination. That can be a real torture. But it also gives us a hint about how we can deal with cravings: If we can do something that engages the same brain functions, we can blunt the craving, and make it easier to resist the temptation.”

Science proves Compendium Consensus Reality aka Common Sense – Tetris is good for you

Not sure if any of these research are purely scientific. The research of Dr. Robert Hess and his fellow researchers at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada could technically apply to any game or activity that engages both eyes. In the case of the research of Co-author Jackie Andrade said her team at Plymouth University, it would suggest better and faster loading computers reduce cravings, not necessarily that Tetris does that.

But at least all of these scientific papers help to prove what regular non-PhD wielding humans accept as Compendium Consensus Reality aka Common Sense:

1.      The more you train you Brain, the stronger it becomes as with video Games, it’s the one Muscle that matters, Matrix Style.
2.      Customers like fast loading computers, as anything that takes more than 10 seconds to load is very frustrating
3.      Playing Video Games can reduce the need to smoke, Drink and even Have Sex with your annoying girlfriend

But seeing as I love Tetris, all this is one more notch in my belt as a PC Gamer in support of these good old arcade Games to remain on my computer to play whenever I have downtime, which as a Computer Repair Technician and Electrical/CCTV/Network Installer, is hardly ever these days. More on that later!

Still, it'll get more persons loving Tetris then I'm all for it, especially as its positive news for Video Gaming. Best of all, I can stop buying Chocolate Biscuits to reduce my sex cravings, as apparently playing Video Game might do the trick to get me unhooked from Cheap Thrills (2013)!

Here's the link to Tetris:

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