A team of Canadian researchers has found that the seminal block-dropping puzzle game Tetris could help cure the terrible affliction that makes Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke so disquieting to look at. And, as a bonus, it could also help the thousands of children and adults afflicted with “Lazy eye,” or amblyopia as doctors like to call it.
Roughly one in fifty children suffers from amplyopia, where one eye doesn’t develop as well as the other, leading to poor vision, and sometimes, even permanent loss of vision in the weak eye. The standard method of treatment is to patch the good eye, forcing the weaker one to work harder – but Canadian researchers have discovered that Tetris may be a better treatment.
In a small, 18 person study on adults, they found that Tetris forces both eyes to work together as they focus on the falling blocks, making
"When we get the two eyes working together, we find the vision improves," says Dr. Robert Hess. "It’s much better than patching, much more enjoyable, it’s faster and it seems to work better."
The tests were conducted utilising a special pair of goggles that made control subjects play Tetris for about an hour a day, first with the stronger eye covered, then another group with both eyes uncovered. those who used both eyes were found to have significantly improved vision.
Though preliminary, more tests are underway, and tests so far indicate that any video game could provide benefit, not jut Tetris. Now go tell your mom you were right to spend so much time playing videogames.
Last Updated: April 24, 2013