Three Decades On, Tetris Remains Awesomely Addictive – Psychologist Explains Why
The world’s most important, iconic and undeniably addictive puzzle game is exactly 30 years old today – the perfect time for experts to explain the compulsive ‘Tetris Effect’
Tetris turns the ripe old age of 30 today…the kind of news that’s guaranteed to make a few million gamers the world over feel rather decrepit to say the least.
Seriously – was it really three decades ago we were first let loose on the iconic block busting puzzle game? Indeed it was, but the really surprising thing is how right now…even with games like GTA 5 and Watch Dogs strutting their stuff…Tetris remains both massively popular and perplexingly addictive.
Which of course begs the billion dollar question – why?
Well, as part of this year’s World Tetris Day celebrations, a psychologist from the UK has insisted that Tetris gets us hooked by appealing to our instinctive desire to tidy things up.
“Tetris is the granddaddy of puzzle games like Candy Crush saga – the things that keep us puzzling away for hours, days and weeks,” said Sheffield University’s Dr. Tom Stafford.
“Tetris is pure game: there is no benefit to it, nothing to learn, no social or physical consequence. It is almost completely pointless, but keeps us coming back for more and more.”
In his YouTube clip, he likened the pleasure that comes with playing Tetris to scratching an itch. Credited in most circles with bringing video gaming to the attention of the masses and kick-starting the puzzle game genre on the whole, Tetris is considered in gaming circles to be both the greatest and the most important game ever created.
“Tetris is so moreish that one writer called it ‘pharmatronic’ – an electronic with all the mind altering properties of a drug,” he added.
“The so-called Tetris Effect is when you close your eyes at night after a few hours of playing the game and you can still see the blocks falling down, in your mind’s eye. Or you look at patterns on the floor and you make tessellations of the Tetris blocks in the tiles.”
And it’s not about to give up and play dead quite yet either – Tetris will soon be making its way to both the PS4 and Xbox One over the coming months…albeit in a slightly beefed up remake of the original.