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Posted on November 6, 2010, 3:41 pm

tetris"You may or may not remember the game Tetris, but it had such a significant impact on people’s thoughts that it even attained its own phenomena called the Tetris Effect. The Tetris Effect is when people spend enough of their attention on any one thing and it begins to overshadow their thoughts, images, dreams and I’ll say perceptions about things. In the case of Tetris, kids and adults began seeing things in daily life in the form of Tetris shapes and seeing how they fit together. It just becomes a habit. Why is this critical to your life?

We spend an enormous amount of unintentional attention on all kinds of things in daily life as habit. I wonder what theFacebook Effect or Twitter Effect might be. Is the mind seeing events at work or in personal life as a status update?

How about the amount of attention we give to worrying or rehashing past life events? Is it possible that we start adopting a worried or depressed lens as a habit and view all areas of life through this lens?

In previous posts I’ve said how neuroscience has concluded that how we pay attention and what we pay attention to has enormous effects on how our brains grow (Neuroplasticity). Can the Tetris Effect actually reshape our brains and is this in the direction of helping us or hindering us?

The biggest question is if the Tetris Effect is real, which I think you’d find it is if you spend enough time playing Tetris, is there a way to strategically use this effect to help us in our daily lives?

I’m in the camp that says, absolutely.

It’s time to put on the conductor’s hat and take the wheel of this train we call our mind. We can notice when our minds are circling the bad neighborhoods and choose to take another road. If we want the Tetris Effect to work we have to understand the first rule, lots of interest, practice and repetition.

So what if today you practiced looking for the Good in people? What if today you practiced looking for the Good in yourself?

This isn’t an effort to ignore the difficulties in life, you’ll be plenty aware of those still not to worry. This is in an effort to use the Tetris Effect to help us in our lives.

In the beginning you might begin seeing subtle results and then over time, they’ll become a bit more apparent. Who knows, maybe you’re even changing your brain for good!

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. "


Comment by NoManual on November 10, 2010, 8:38 pm
I do tend to have dreams about tetris. I am really fast at puzzeling games like Jigzaws and fitting stuffs together. I donno if thats the tetris effect, or the help of Tetris. But I've always been that way, fast with Jigsaws. Thats probably why I can enjoy playing as much tetris as I do, because I think it do indeed "train/help" my mind.
Comment by m__ on November 10, 2010, 3:32 pm
I thought this only happened to "new" players. I used to get it back in the 80s when I was first playing tetris. I haven't had it in ages.
Comment by arf on November 10, 2010, 7:06 am
I think some of you guys have the wrong idea of what the tetris effect is according to what the article says it is. the article suggests that when you play tetris too much, you apply the rules of tetris to real life situations--not playing a marathon mode or 40 lines mode in your mind. And as for that, I don't think I've ever experienced this article's definition of the "tetris effect". I just play tetris as it is.
Comment by nahucirujano on November 8, 2010, 4:54 pm
Well, this really happened (and happens) to me... Sometimes, when I`m into the bed and I`m not sleepy I start (unconsciously) to think the way to make "Bravos" at Big Modes or the way to make a perfect stacking with specific tetrominos... It`s so crazy...xD But, again, this is tottally true...
Comment by massi4h on November 7, 2010, 2:40 am
Lol thanks Blink. But yeah I had the tetris effect when I was playing TDS at least 6 hours a day. I was completely hooked. Tetris effect was so awesome, I'm sure I worked out a fancy t-spin setup from it as well.
Comment by Blink on November 6, 2010, 7:00 pm
haha i'll replace the picture, i just used the default one from the article.
Comment by Boingloing on November 6, 2010, 6:58 pm
the tetris effect never happened to me... but the mr driller effect did!
Comment by massi4h on November 6, 2010, 6:39 pm
That is wrong in so many ways... 5 piece i block and an uncleard line. :(
Comment by XaeL on November 6, 2010, 5:34 pm
dude the pictures wrong

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