The Teris Effect

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A scientist, hard at work.

Artists rendering of how the Brain Pixies see the Tetris, probably.

Just The Facts

  1. One of the earliest known references to the 'badass' Tetris Effect was by one Garth Kidd (unknown if related to Alex) in 1996. He attributes the term to Australian geeks who presumably played Tetris as a way to distract themselves from the fact that they lived in Australia.
  2. The Tetris effect is classed as a form of hallucination and countless studies have been committed to it. One study even found that two months of daily play taught your brain to streamline certain processes. Those long blocks with four smaller bits in a row? They were racing stripes for your brain.
  3. The Tetris Effect isn't limited to your waking mind, in fact it seems far more common for a persons dreams to be entirely influenced by a game over a long period of time. Think back, we're sure you'll remember something. If you don't then go play World of Warcraft for a month. If you don't dream abo

Brick by Brick

The Tetris Effect first was noticed, studied and later named, for the game Super Mario Brothers.

Only joking, it was Tetris. Dumbass.

The Tetris Effect is actually closely related to Earworms. Earworms are not, in fact, worms at all. It is just a highly nightmarish term used by, presumably bored and sadistic, scientists to describe having a song stuck in your head.

These scientists went apeshit over it, namely because they had found an excuse to play Tetris at work. Seriously though it turns out that longterm play of the game is good for you. Not to go into too much detail but, in basic terms, it kills off lazy brain pixies, making your brain consist only of the faster ones. This only applies to the brain pixies that help you to play Tetris though. This does include your basic spacial awareness and your ability to see and decipher patterns, as well as your ability to work at high speeds without succumbing to pressure related stress, so it's actually a lot more helpful than it sounds.

Unless you like your lazy brain pixies of course.

Different Genres

The Tetris Effect, despite its name, isn't limited strictly to Tetris or even gaming as a whole.

Prolonged play of any game will result in your brain going equally mushy. Too much Animal Crossing and you may find yourself thinking about things in terms of visualising the inventory. Even more Animal Crossing results in posting fish through your neighbours door so that they'll get you a NES for Christmas. Not really but you get the idea.

Other dull and tedious pastimes that induce the effect include chess, cards, driving long distances, flipping burgers, stacking shelves or picking weeds. Reports of poeple suffering second degree Tetris Effect from Animal Crossing induced weed picking are, so far, unsubstantiated.