Writing about a potpourri of ponderings. Follow me on Mastodon!

Trauma and Tetris

I learned something new today. I read an article that addressed the idea of using Tetris to help as a sort of “trauma first aid toolkit”. This was something that I had heard before, and I took at face value. It made sense that, after a potentially traumatic event, a distraction like Tetris could be helpful in easing the force of feeling. I could even rationalize that it was perhaps repetitive enough to facilitate progress and a feeling of advancement, while being stimulating enough to interfere with trauma-related thought patterns.

However, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

In yet another case of science reporting gone wrong, it seems that the “quick fix” of installing Tetris on your phone in case of unexpected trauma was more appealing than our current science suggests.

A multitude of studies—some individual and some meta-analyses—make a strong case that there are no real effects from Tetris use in individuals with PTSD. The article pretty thoroughly rebukes this hypothesis.

Science is complicated and messy. Reporting it is difficult, because one has to strike a balance between the “truth”, and portraying those ideas in an accessible way. Very difficult. I will surely write more about this in the future.

In any case, I learned something new today! Hopefully you did too.

Day 14 of the #100DaysToOffload challenge!