Hey parents, do you always tell your kids to stop playing video games? Well, how about telling them to play more video games? Before you think this is kooky, a recent study by psychologists at Plymouth University and the University of Queensland showed that playing the video game Tetris can reduce certain cravings up to 70 percent! These cravings include sleeping, coffee, smoking, socializing and others. Well, you kids may not drink coffee, and hopefully don’t smoke, but it seems playing Tetris can reduce certain cravings. Let’s look at some of the study findings and how we can creatively interpret these.

The study sample was pretty small, about 31 people. They were asked to report their cravings via text messaging seven times a day. Fifteen of these people were asked to play Tetris for 3 minutes before reporting their cravings.

The results were kind of surprising. Those that played Tetris reported decreases in certain cravings. The decrease ranged from 56 to 70 percent. Cravings included consuming food, smoking, socializing, playing video games, sleeping, etc.

The way the researchers explained the decrease was that we get cravings by imaging the objects of these cravings. For example, kids may image themselves going out and socializing with their friends, and thus develop that craving. The researchers believe that playing Tetris blocks out these imaging related to the cravings. In effect, playing Tetris may psychologically interfere with the processes that build up these cravings.

OK, so how does this applies to your kids. Well, kids are notorious for being restless and are always looking for something to do. This is where they may get into trouble, as they image activities they want to participate in, thus building up these cravings, whether it be just eating junk food and going out and being wild with their friends. So according to this study, get them to play more Tetris, and maybe these cravings will not be as strong!