The Tetris effect occurs when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images, and dreams.[1] It takes its name from the video game Tetris.[1]

Screenshot of a tetromino game. People who play video puzzle games like this for a long time may see moving images like this at the edges of their visual fields, when they close their eyes, or when they are drifting off to sleep.

People who have played Tetris for a prolonged amount of time can find themselves thinking about ways different shapes in the real world can fit together, such as the boxes on a supermarket shelf or the buildings on a street.[1] They may see colored images of pieces falling into place on an invisible layout at the edges of their visual fields or when they close their eyes.[1] They may see such colored, moving images when they are falling asleep, a form of hypnagogic imagery.[2]

Those experiencing the effect may feel they are unable to prevent the thoughts, images, or dreams from happening.[3]

A more comprehensive understanding of the lingering effects of playing video games has been investigated empirically as game transfer phenomena (GTP).[4]

Place in cognition edit

Stickgold et al. (2000) have proposed that Tetris-effect imagery is a separate form of memory, likely related to procedural memory.[2] This is from their research in which they showed that people with anterograde amnesia, unable to form new declarative memories, reported dreaming of falling shapes after playing Tetris during the day, despite not being able to remember playing the game at all.

Game transfer phenomena edit

A series of empirical studies with over 6,000 gamers has been conducted since 2010 into game transfer phenomena (GTP), a broadening of the Tetris effect concept coined by Angelica B. Ortiz de Gortari in her thesis.[5] GTP is not limited to altered visual perceptions or mental processes but also includes auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic sensory perceptions, sensations of unreality, and automatic behaviours with video game content. GTP establishes the differences between endogenous (e.g., seeing images with closed eyes, hearing music in the head) and exogenous phenomena (e.g., seeing power bars above people's head, hearing sounds coming from objects associated with a video game) and between involuntary (e.g., saying something involuntarily with video game content) and voluntary behaviours (e.g., using slang from the video game for amusement). Awareness of GTP among healthcare professionals is currently lacking, resulting in documented cases of misdiagnosed psychosis and unnecessary use of anti-psychotics in patients who were experiencing GTP. Individuals with pre-existing hallucinatory tendencies are more likey to experience the effects of GTP, although individuals who do not display these tendencies may still experience GTP, likely at a lower degree.[6] Recent research has begun to explore other clinical applications of GTP, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Today over 20 studies have been published.[7][8][9][10]

History edit

The earliest known reference to the term appears in Jeffrey Goldsmith's article, "This is Your Brain on Tetris", published in Wired in May 1994:

No home was sweet without a Game Boy in 1990. That year, I stayed "for a week" with a friend in Tokyo, and Tetris enslaved my brain. At night, geometric shapes fell in the darkness as I lay on loaned tatami floor space. Days, I sat on a lavender suede sofa and played Tetris furiously. During rare jaunts from the house, I visually fit cars and trees and people together. [...]

The Tetris effect is a biochemical, reductionistic metaphor, if you will, for curiosity, invention, the creative urge. To fit shapes together is to organize, to build, to make deals, to fix, to understand, to fold sheets. All of our mental activities are analogous, each as potentially addictive as the next.[11]

The term was rediscovered by Earling (1996),[1] citing a use of the term by Garth Kidd in February 1996.[12] Kidd described "after-images of the game for up to days afterwards" and "a tendency to identify everything in the world as being made of four squares and attempt to determine 'where it fits in'". Kidd attributed the origin of the term to computer-game players from Adelaide, Australia. The earliest description of the general phenomenon appears in Neil Gaiman's science fiction poem "Virus"[13] (1987) in Digital Dreams.

In 2018, the term was announced as the name of a new Tetris game on the PlayStation 4 by Enhance.[14]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Earling, Annette (March 21, 1996). "Do Computer Games Fry Your Brain?". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Stickgold, Robert; Malia, April; Maguire, Denise; Roddenberry, David; O'Connor, Margaret (13 October 2000). "Replaying the Game: Hypnagogic Images in Normals and Amnesics". Science. 290 (5490): 350–353. Bibcode:2000Sci...290..350S. doi:10.1126/science.290.5490.350. PMID 11030656.
  3. ^ Stickgold, R., interviewed 30 October 2000 by Norman Swan for The Health Report on Australia's Radio National (transcript). Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  4. ^ Ortiz de Gortari, Angelica B.; Gackenbach, Jayne (22 April 2021). "Game Transfer Phenomena and Problematic Interactive Media Use: Dispositional and Media Habit Factors". Frontiers in Psychology. 12: 585547. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.585547. PMC 8100040. PMID 33967879.
  5. ^ "Game Transfer Phenomena research website". Game Transfer Phenomena. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  6. ^ Palmer-Cooper, Emma (March–May 2022). "Unusualexperiences and their association with metacognition: investigating ASMR and Tulpamanc". Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. InformaUK Limited. 27 (2–3): 86–104. doi:10.1080/13546805.2021.1999798. PMID 34743647. Retrieved 26 February 2024.
  7. ^ Ortiz de Gortari, Angelica (March 12, 2018). "Embracing pseudo-hallucinatory phenomena induced by playing video games". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 15, 2019.[self-published source?]
  8. ^ Ortiz De Gortari, Angelica B. (2019). "Game Transfer Phenomena: Origin, Development, and Contributions to the Video Game Research Field". In Attrill-Smith, Alison; Fullwood, Chris; Keep, Melanie; Kuss, Daria J. (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Cyberpsychology. pp. 531–556. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198812746.013.29. ISBN 978-0-19-881274-6.
  9. ^ Ortiz de Gortari, Angelica B.; Griffiths, Mark D. (2 June 2016). "Prevalence and Characteristics of Game Transfer Phenomena: A Descriptive Survey Study" (PDF). International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 32 (6): 470–480. doi:10.1080/10447318.2016.1164430. S2CID 30873640.
  10. ^ De Gortari, A. Ortiz; Basche, A. (April 2021). "Pain and gain of auditory intrusions with video game content: Game transfer phenomena in clinical cases". European Psychiatry. 64 (S1): S642. doi:10.1192/j.eurpsy.2021.1705. PMC 9479913. ProQuest 2560869230.
  11. ^ Goldsmith, Jeffrey (May 1994). "This is Your Brain on Tetris". Wired Issue 2.05. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  12. ^ Kidd, Garth (1996-02-20). "Possible future risk of virtual reality". The RISKS Digest: Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems. 17 (78). Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  13. ^ Gaiman, Neil (1987). Virus. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012.[self-published source?][non-primary source needed]
  14. ^ Fagan, Kaylee (2018-06-07). "This gorgeous new Tetris game is inspired by science to entrance you for hours". Business Insider. Retrieved 12 June 2018.

External links edit