I hope you’re in the mood for another feel-good story about how games make the world a better place. BBC News reported yesterday about a recent study conducted by a McGill University team, where they found that playing the mega-classic block-matching game can help strengthen weak eyes that typically result in amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye.
The study showed that playing Tetris for just an hour a day over a two week time-span could be more beneficial than traditional methods of patching the stronger eye to force the weaker eye to work harder. Initially, the nine participants were asked to wear a special pair of video goggles during the play session, to help direct the weaker eye where to look. It did so specifically by only allowing one eye to see the blocks as they fell, while the other eye only saw the base of the screen where the fallen blocks had already been locked into place. The study concluded this method was better than conventional patching methods by adding a second test group that used the same visual goggles, only this time their good eyes were patched and the entire screen could be seen only with their weaker eye. At the end of the two week trial, the group that used both eyes produced stronger results with their weak eyes than the group forced to play the game entirely with their weaker eye.
Bottom line: Science has discovered yet another use for gaming in the field of rehabilitation. Games are already used to treat psychological disorders such as PTSD in returning war veterans, and motion-controlled games are often used as part of physical rehabilitation as well, so this story is just simply one more example of how games can help people live better lives. Now if only someone would make a game that could help fix most of our lazy butts, we’d really be on to something. In the meantime, you can always share your story about gaming by visiting “How Games Saved My Life“, a site full of testimonials maintained by Hey Ash‘s Ashly Burch.
Do you folks have any stories about games improving your lives? How about a go-to game that always makes you feel better after a bad day? Share your stories in the comments section.