A Win-Win Study Shows that Playing Tetris Can Fix Lazy Eyes

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal learned that playing Tetris can help train both eyes to work together and fix lazy eyes.

Their study showed that playing a Tetris-style game had more effective results than "conventional patching," which obstructs the good eye in order to make the weak eye do more work.

The small study involved 18 adults. The volunteers were asked to wear the goggles while playing Tetris for an hour a day for two weeks. For nine of the volunteers, the googles showed two different parts of the game; one eye saw the falling blocks, while the other eye saw the blocks accumulate at the base—forcing the two eyes to work together. The other group played had their good eye covered and watched the whole game with their weaker eye.

Next, the research group in Montreal will test the Tetris goggles on kids with lazy eyes. A group in the UK has already began to see if games could help strengthen vision in children with amblyopia.

The researchers found that the group that used both eyes had more vision improvement. About one in 50 children has amblyopia, or when one eye doesn't develop properly and is usually accompanied by squinting and a potential for loss of vision.

But a game of colorful, falling blocks to the rescue! Remember how Tetris was a key component in a major study about dreaming and sub-conscious? And how something called the Tetris effect can be used as a way to increase positive thinking? What a wonderful and over-achieving distraction.

[BBC | Mental Floss, image via Aryco / Shutterstock]