Released on 6th of June 1984, Tetris is 30 years old today. Here’s a video where I try and explain something of the psychology of Tetris:
As well as hijacking the minds and twitchy fingers of puzzle-gamers for 30 years, Tetris has also been involved in some important psychological research.
My favourite is Kirsh and Maglio’s work on “epistemic action“, which showed how Tetris players prefer to rotate the blocks in the game world rather than mentally. This using the world in synchrony with your mental representations is part of what makes it so immersive, I argue.
And don’t forget that Tetris was the control condition is Green and Bavelier’s now famous studies of how action video games can train visual attention
In my own research I’ve used simple games to explore skill learning. John Lindstedt and Wayne Gray at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have been pursuing a parallel line looking at expertise in Tetris players.
I’m sure there are more examples, if you know of any researching using Tetris let me know. Happy Birthday Tetris!