This puzzle game born in 1984 and it can decrease the addiction to drugs, sex, food or tobacco.

Playing Tetris for just 3 minutes a day can weaken the need to take drugs, food or perform activities like sex or sleep, according to a new study conducted by a team of psychologists at the University of Plymouth (England) and the Queensland University of Technology (Australia).

For their experiment, the researchers counted with the participation of 31 volunteers aged between 18 and 27 years with different addictions – alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex-. During one week, the participants pointed to the degree of anxiety that suffered daily and only 15 of them played all days Tetris, about 5 times a day.

The results revealed that those who had played this game showed a reduction in anxiety in at least 15% in all addictions, the food being the only one with a milder percentage of anxiety. The benefits of playing Tetris were maintained up to a week after the experiment was completed.

“The desire for something implies imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or performing a particular activity.” Thus, playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental process that supports that imagination. It is hard to imagine living something and playing Tetris at the same time, explains Jackie Andrade, co-author of the study.

According to the authors, it is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be employed outside the laboratory to reduce addiction. “Tetris can help people manage their addictions in their daily lives or for longer periods of time,” explains Andrade.