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Tetris May Reduce PTSD, But Pub Quiz Makes It Worse

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the yeah-that-makes-sense dept.

Puzzle Games (Games) 65

Last year we discussed news that researchers from Oxford University discovered playing Tetris after watching a disturbing film reduced the amount of intrusive flashbacks experienced by test subjects. The researchers then wondered if that was true for other games, so they began a new study, the results of which were just published in the journal PLoS ONE. Reader SpuriousLogic points out that while they repeated their earlier finding about Tetris, they also found that subjects who played trivia game Pub Quiz instead reported more flashbacks. "Research tells us that there is a period of up to six hours after the trauma in which it is possible to interfere with the way that these traumatic memories are formed in the mind. During this time-frame, certain tasks can compete with the same brain channels that are needed to form the memory. This is because there are limits to our abilities in each channel: for example, it is difficult to hold a conversation while doing math problems. The Oxford team reasoned that recognizing the shapes and moving the colored building blocks around in Tetris competes with the images of trauma in the perceptual information channel. Consequently, the images of trauma (the flashbacks) are reduced. The team believe that this is not a simple case of distracting the mind with a computer game, as answering general knowledge questions in the Pub Quiz game increased flashbacks. The researchers believe that this verbal based game competes with remembering the contextual meaning of the trauma, so the visual memories in the perceptual channel are reinforced and the flashbacks are increased."

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65 comments

Daikatana (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211180)

In other news, subjects that played Daikatana reduced the flashbacks completely--because the subjects dropped dead.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo Presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211184)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo Presidency (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214734)

Nigger, because plantation owners can't pronounce negro. Probably due to hair lip's and other deformations resulting from inbreeding.

Tetris (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211194)

This is WHY the Soviets tasked Pajitnov with creating Tetris in the first place. They saw addicting games as a means to destroy American productivity.

Considering the zombification WoW, Farmville, etc. currently inflict upon our nation, I'd say they were right. Indeed, Tetris on the Gameboy had the same effect. And still does. Over 100,000,000 copies of Tetris have been sold. For cell phones alone.

Re:Tetris (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211230)

Yeah! They should be zombified through good old American Television!

Re:Tetris (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211242)

Productivity? PTSD is productive?

Re:Tetris (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211294)

Productivity? PTSD is productive?

No, it is not.
But productivity requires brain activity.
Tetris and other games actively reduce brain activity to zombie-like levels.
Thus "improving" PTSD much like a lobotomy would.

Re:Tetris (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211506)

It works on the same principle. Tetris reduces thinking of things other than the game. With Pub Quiz and most things that are "productive" it is multi-dimensional thinking, you can't just focus on one task or you have downtime that allows those memories to reoccur.

Re:Tetris (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34212108)

That just made me realize, after a big car accident, often times emergency response teams are probing with questions. What happened, are you okay, who can we call, etc etc.

Perhaps if the ambulance had tetris on board for your hospital ride and they left the questions till the next day - people involved in serious accidents would be better off...

Just thinking outloud.

Re:Tetris (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213716)

You would be correct if the purpose of those questions was not diagnostic, and if many such patients are not only so delirious that they really don't know what's happening anyway, but absolutely cannot be allowed to lose consciousness: Tetris can't pressure people into staying awake. Even if it seems obvious what's wrong with somebody, It's entirely possible that a non-obvious issue also exists... maybe the guy with broken leg fell down the stairs because he was starting to have a heart attack, treating just the apparent issue is going to end poorly.

PTSD is definitely a serious condition in need of effective mitigation techniques, but it in no way trumps immediate physical danger.

Tetris flashbacks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211214)

This is not so surprising. If you've ever played Tetris for any amount of time, you'll know that for hours afterward you'll have flashbacks of falling shapes. That leaves no time for traumatic flashbacks.

Re:Tetris flashbacks (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211486)

If you've ever played Tetris for any amount of time, you'll know that for hours afterward you'll have flashbacks of falling shapes.

I know. I see things like this [youtube.com] all the time these days.

Re:Tetris flashbacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214662)

It's telling how infuriating it is to watch that video. "NOOO!!! Why did you put that piece there??? ARGGH!"

Re:Tetris flashbacks (1)

hbr (556774) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211910)

This is not so surprising. If you've ever played Tetris for any amount of time, you'll know that for hours afterward you'll have flashbacks of falling shapes. That leaves no time for traumatic flashbacks.

Fur sure - there was a time back at college when I was playing a lot, and I kept getting recurring tetris dreams.

That is not healthy!

Unusual. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211232)

Wouldn't learning to cope with it be the better alternative, as opposed to using the brain's magical hardware to numb it away?

All things being equal, I am glad I learned how to cope with shock. Goatse? 2G1C? 1Guy1Jar? BME? I feel like I am better off handing them as opposed to trying to dull my memories of them with (admittedly interesting) brain tricks.

Re:Unusual. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211298)

Wouldn't learning to cope with it be the better alternative, as opposed to using the brain's magical hardware to numb it away?

All things being equal, I am glad I learned how to cope with shock. Goatse? 2G1C? 1Guy1Jar? BME? I feel like I am better off handing them as opposed to trying to dull my memories of them with (admittedly interesting) brain tricks.

BME Pain Olympics is fake.
(At least, the parts most people have seen and fuss over - name the dick severing, ball smashing, etc.)

Re:Unusual. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211818)

Really? I'm a little disappointed now. I thought I was at least getting a little retribution for the damage to my mind.

Re:Unusual. (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211448)

You're only treating the symptom though. Learning cope with bad flashbacks is a difficult process and in the end: You're still having bad flashbacks.

It's not magically "numbing" it so that you don't have to deal with it, it's making it so that you don't HAVE the flashbacks, or at least as many. Wouldn't you rather NOT have flashbacks than having to learn to deal with them?

Your method while soundly makes a person capable of functioning again - it's simply not as efficient as reducing the flashbacks with a simple inexpensive trick.

Re:Unusual. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211902)

Yeah... because watching disturbing videos on the internet is exactly as difficult to get over as getting shot at, and shooting other people in combat. Why, it's practically the same thing. [/sarcasm]

Ever actually see someone suffer a real, honest to goodness war flashback? It took 20 minutes to get one of my co-workers out from underneath a table after a helicopter flew overhead once. Given the choice between learning to deal with that kind of intense flashback and not having that flashback at all, I guarantee every soldier out there would rather numb it away and be able to think back on that time without having the more irrational parts of their brains getting in the way.

Re:Unusual. (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 3 years ago | (#34212184)

Okay, I'm curious. What exactly did happen, and why do you declare it to be different from a mental flashback of a disturbing video? Not trying to troll here, I really would like to understand the innate severity of the situation.

Re:Unusual. (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34212832)

Better solution: Don't get conned into joining the army. Don't support/turn a blind eye to psychopathic leaders who like to invent wars or who pressure populations into war frenzies. A little awareness on everybody's part would go a long way.

Instead, we're playing Tetris and a host of other video games which eases the immediate stress and suffering which in turn makes it easier for the psychopaths to ratchet up the pressure, requiring even more numbing distractions.

But of course, even if these problems were solved, there would still be trauma. And while short term relief solutions are useful at mitigating and providing coping mechanisms, the long-term process of repairing and strengthening the mind is the real way to go, I would think.

-FL

quicker ways for repairing the mind (1)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214064)

... the long-term process of repairing and strengthening the mind is the real way to go, I would think.

The process isn't nearly as long-term as it used to be.

Practitioners of Energy Psychology have been trying to get someone in the DOD to listen to them for the last 15 years. Earlier this year two psychologists visited congress [energypsyched.com] with a soldier they cured of PTSD. All hope seemed lost, but then lady luck appeared and made some connections for them.

They say that Walter Reed is now doing a formal study of the Emotional Freedom Technique [eftuniverse.com] on soldiers with PTSD.

Truth-out recently featured a nice article calling on the American Psychological Association to end its ban on Energy Psychology [truth-out.org]. And Feinstein now has two papers scheduled for publication in some entirely mainstream psychology journals.

You're quite right about avoiding PTSD by not signing up, but Energy Psychology is the best way to fix the people who come home broken.

Re:quicker ways for repairing the mind (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214878)

You're quite right about avoiding PTSD by not signing up, but Energy Psychology is the best way to fix the people who come home broken.

It's illegal for the same reason that using MDMA for therapy is illegal, it works. Therefore you can't spend years pumping chemicals into the patient at a profit.

Re:quicker ways for repairing the mind (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216916)

Jeezuz. MDMA?

I'd avoid any drug smuggled into the youth scene by the Israeli intelligence community.

When I dug into the subject, the nearest thing I found to the same effects on brain cells that MDMA has was Polio's effect on nerve endings throughout the body. I think we're going to start seeing some really messed up people incapable of producing serotonin when they hit their 50's. I can't begin to imagine how crappy that would be!

-FL

Re:quicker ways for repairing the mind (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34218848)

Using MDMA habitually is a big fail, it does permanent brain damage and anyone who says different is selling something... to themselves. Using MDMA in a therapeutic setting has been shown to be amazingly effective (LSD, too, but that's almost as much of a keyword as Hitler) which is probably why it's among the most illegal of drugs.

Re:Unusual. (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211924)

Wouldn't learning to cope with it be the better alternative, as opposed to using the brain's magical hardware to numb it away?

I think that resolving the trauma is the best approach, which is different than merely coping. It's also the most difficult.

DN3d (0, Offtopic)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211312)

The tragedy of the situation is, duke nukem cures cancer... but no one will ever benefit from that. :(

Re:DN3d (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211358)

Yeah, and Duke Nukem Forever will cure all illnesses. You ever wondered why it's not out yet? It's because of the pharma industry is concerned about their profit.

Re:DN3d (1)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211410)

God dammnit you're right, it's the pharmaceutical industry! This is incident is going into my gaming rant blog AND my conspiracy newsletter... and don't think I won't write a strongly worded letter to the pharmaceutical companies, I will.

Big Pharma is just being careful (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211838)

Duke Nukem Forever will cure all illnesses. You ever wondered why it's not out yet? It's because of the pharma industry is concerned about their profit.

No, they're just being careful. A lab accident could lead to something like the Concentration Room [pineight.com] incident.

Further reasoning suggests... (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211320)

It stands to reason that if "Tetris competes with the images of trauma in the perceptual information channel" then Tetris would also compete with the images of pron in the perceptual information channel.

Note to self; stop playing Tetris whilst viewing Intertube pr0ns.

It also commutative (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211446)

After watching "Linda Lovelace Meets Rin-Tin-Tin" in the '70s, I have been unable to play Tetris!

Re:Further reasoning suggests... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211464)

Heh,
colored blocks falling into suitable openings...

Tetris IS porn!

Re:Further reasoning suggests... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211482)

This brings up an interesting question.

I'm sure Everyone here has seen those Tetris Porn games, where theres a nude person behind a bunch of blocks and the idea is to play tetris to lower the blocks to see the photo in the background.

I can't seem to remember specifically what any of the photos were like. Coincidence? Anyone else's experience the same?

(in b4 u lol)

Re:Further reasoning suggests... (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213736)

Well, thank you for a mental image of 'arranging blocks' that I'll never get out of my head. Don't play Tetris, you'll go blind.

What aspect of tetris? (2, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211444)

This is a very interesting idea. I gather that the next question to ask is what aspects of tetris and popquiz produce the effects they do?
I'm guessing that it has to do with tetris having no real life context (you're pushing around sets of coloured squares, which would not really apply to anyone except maybe traumatized bricklayers), while popquiz requires you to actively think about and recall real life events and concepts.

Which would suggest that other games (video or otherwise) that don't mimic real life concepts would provide a similar effect.

Re:What aspect of tetris? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211498)

I gather that the next question to ask is what aspects of tetris and popquiz produce the effects they do?

Jesus, did you not read even the fucking summary? You know, all those word things underneath the headline?

Here, since you missed them, then answer the exact question you asked:

recognizing the shapes and moving the colored building blocks around in Tetris competes with the images of trauma in the perceptual information channel. Consequently, the images of trauma (the flashbacks) are reduced. The team believe that this is not a simple case of distracting the mind with a computer game, as answering general knowledge questions in the Pub Quiz game increased flashbacks. The researchers believe that this verbal based game competes with remembering the contextual meaning of the trauma, so the visual memories in the perceptual channel are reinforced and the flashbacks are increased."

Re:What aspect of tetris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211826)

Yes, yes, that's nice dear, but what I'm really interested in is what aspects of tetris and popquiz produce the effects they do?

Re:What aspect of tetris? (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211974)

Ok, I'll bite. Yes, I did read the summary, which clearly explains that they're making an *educated guess* as to the mechanisms involved. What I was asking was what ACTUALLY caused the effect?

Is it the the fact that tetris has no real life representation that people can associate with?

Is it the fact that you are repeatedly performing a large number of simple actions? If so, is it because of the actions that focus your attention, or does the player enter a trance-like state?

Maybe it's because the coloured squares subconsciously remind you of the building blocks you played with as a baby?

This certainly reminds me why I tend to view comment threads at 2+. Dealing with people with anger management issues can certainly be traumatic.

Re:What aspect of tetris? (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213916)

It's not because of the topic but because of the thought process involved, Tetris does not involve the memory at all while pop quiz does so heavily. Tetris occupies the brain with tasks that don't involve the memory so it has fewer resources dedicated to burning the traumatic images into your memory.

Re:What aspect of tetris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211644)

Simply since a quiz requires remembering things it affects handling of memory and increases creating new memory traces.
I think it has been proven before that any type memory-related activity increases possibility to remember things and to access those memories.

Tetris may have it's affect simply because it distracts brain enough to forget traumatic images before they can be made more permanent memories.

Re:What aspect of tetris? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211958)

I'm no neurologist, but if I were to guess I'd say it's because flashbacks are primarily visual, with a bit of audio thrown in. Playing tetris occupies the visual, and to a lesser extent audio portions of the brain, preventing those pathways being used to lay down the upsetting memories over and over again. The quiz game however, uses the critical thinking parts of the brain and verbal memory retrieval (very few people remember the answers to quiz game type questions audio-visually). This leaves the audiovisual pathways open to lay down the unpleasant memories, which makes it ineffective at blocking the flashbacks. If I had to guess why the quiz game made the flashbacks worse, maybe the quiz questions were associating those memories with a lot of other random topics (the question topics being asked).

Re:What aspect of tetris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34212070)

I have PTSD (4 1/2 years) and can attest to the benefit I get from simple puzzle games. In addition to Tetris I've found several other comparable games (e.g. Bejeweled, Bust-A-Move, etc.) that also give me a "break" from issues related to my PTSD. Although I'd not consciously considered why before, games involving spelling (e.g. Bookworm, etc.) don't seem to provide the same level of relief.

This is really intriguing (and promising); I'm going to give this a bit more thought...

rules 1 and 2 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34211494)

Trauma victims should surf around 4chan for a few months. That would pretty much cure them from any mental trauma that they have encountered.

Does this include the effects of alchohol? (3, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211538)

Many people may not realize that many vets drink alcohol to get longer periods of REM sleep, so playing Pub Quiz may not be good for you, but if it also involves drinking alcohol, the negative effects (flashbacks) may be outweighed by the positive effects (more sleep).

The best solution, of course, is to play the version of Tetris in Monty Python's computer game based on King Arthur, where you fill a pit with decomposing plague-ridden corpses.

This is both funny and will usually lead to the consumption of alcohol.

Mind you, creatine is cheaper than alcohol and has fewer side effects and gives you longer sleep periods, so maybe playing Tetris while having creatine may be the optimal solution.

Even if it won't be half as fun.

Well obviously, (2, Funny)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34211800)

Pub Quiz is cause for PTSD. There are good games, bad games, and the games that keep you up at night shivering in terror and endless questions of why, why WHY didn't I answer d? I knew that question, I knew it. It should have been obvious. The horror, THE HORROR. If only I hadn't picked c. I was just careless. It shouldn't have mattered. But it all came down to that one question. Why dear god why!?

Common knowledge (2, Interesting)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 3 years ago | (#34212068)

Keeping soldiers busy has been practiced forever in most if not all military forces. There are several very good reasons to do that, and one of them is to prevent soldiers from dwelling on the horrors of war.

So, The Logical Solution Is... (2, Interesting)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34212112)

If it's just shapes and stimulus and so on, perhaps having them just sit in a room with videos of Tiesto or Daft Punk or similar playing would probably saturate their brains to the point of remembering nothing at all.

On a side note, I still remember going to see the Blue Man Group three months ago more vividly than my ex's face. So I know it really can work. ;)

Re:So, The Logical Solution Is... (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217504)

Just wait till war is declared on the Smurfs in Tetris Land

Re:So, The Logical Solution Is... (1)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34218080)

Yeah, no love for Smurfs here... ;)

But I think that I might be onto something as well(on a serious note). If you take a look at people who have been to all-night dance/trance type concerts or raves, they look and act like they're in a daze after-wards. I know from personal experience myself, that your senses are driven to overload for so long that while you can remember what happened the day before, it seems like a fact with no emotion attached to it, since what you just went through completely saturated your short and mid-term memory.

Perhaps this could be done with some sort of music and visual effects - like a video game with a light and sound show attached. (think dance club levels and effects, though - enough to saturate your mind in a safe and controlled way)

I think the real reason for much of PTSD is likely related to noise levels. Being a musician myself, I know that there is a level where the sound drowns out all of your other senses and it's all you can think of (usually this is related to sound pressure level more than frequency, which is why it's easiest to do by turning the bass way up). This would also make sense, since much of combat and explosions and the like have very high sound pressure components to them - to the point where your brain just simply overloads and panics. And why most of the flashbacks typically have a sound-related trigger.

My educated guess is that much of it might be mitigated by specialized hearing protectors like many musicians wear. But I don't think most branches of our armed forces worry about hearing protection unless it's something like artillery or on a runway or similar. Certainly not concerning normal soldiers and the like. But there has been some work on it in the last few years, so that's encouraging. (the devices exist but aren't widely used)

Psfh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213212)

Tetris? I 'discovered' Cave Story the other day and all I see when I close my eyes now is sand traps, flying critters and cute talking bunnies. The music is also catchy.

You can send me to a thousand Iraqs and I wouldn't remember any of it. PTSD? Meh - Bring it on!

I think it's something else.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213244)

I'm an armchair psychologist, but I think it's more that Tetris is a game where the player is in control of every aspect of the game and the rules are clear. This is a confidence building, esteem building exercise. The latter depends on your knowledge of trivia ... requires you to have recall from dozens of years of random factoids, and even if you do this you are still competing against other people that you can't control. This makes them very uneasy and anxious even if they're doing well.

my $0.02

Not just tetris... (1)

BlueRaja (1397333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34257062)

I would guess any activity in which people zone out - such as playing Bejeweled, or cooking or driving a car - would reduce the PTSD
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