I had the opportunity to interview with the creator of Tetris a few years ago about the research on his game's ability to help curb the kind of intrusive thoughts and flashbacks commonly associated with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. More recent studies have show that it can also help with cravings for food and alcohol. Ever since then I've wondered what Tetris does to the brain that helps prevent it from getting stuck in fight or flight mode, obsession with potential threats, or unwanted thoughts in general. It's certainly not the most relaxing game ever made, though there is something oddly comforting about its cold, methodical, relentless demands for optimal spacial organization.
What is it about the repetitive analysis and processing of new blocks into a collection of old blocks that helps us to remain in control of our feeling/thought patterns? As always, Art Hawk has the answer!