The Truth on Tetris and Trauma

According to a recent study by researchers at Oxford University, playing Tetris can reduce trauma.

From the Yahoo! Videogames article:

[Researchers] exposed volunteers to traumatic experiences, then made some of them play Tetris half an hour later.

I wonder if said induced trauma includes sodomy via an upright Z-block while Russian instrumental music plays in the background.

Can you imagine walking into a testing facility and there’s this researcher dude telling you, “Welcome, and thank you for participating in our experiment. We’ll be shooting bullets through your vital organs. Probably, we’d even dip your balls in barbecue sauce and let a rabid grizzly bear loose in this room to gore your genitals out with its huge, eviscerating paws. You have the option of going to the next room instead, where we’ll also coat you in barbecue sauce, but instead of a rabid bear, we’d let loose a horny, 250-pound biker to tenderize your sweet ass. That’s just for starters. We have devised several traumatic experiences tailored to fit your individual profiles. Have a great day!”

And then afterwards, while you’re still bleeding, you crawl towards one of the researchers, begging for some medical attention, for some help, or for him to just end it all with a clean shot to your brains,  he kneels in front of you, and says, “Here, have a brick game.”

In the near future, in an emergency room somewhere:

Resident: What happened here?

Paramedics: Trauma victim. A scaffolding collapsed, and an iron bar flew right into this little boy’s stomach, skewering him.

Resident: Any family members with him at the time?

Paramedics: (checks his notes) His father was with him, but another iron bar dropped on his head. The boy witnessed it all. That’s actually bits of his own father’s brains on his chin right now, doctor. (pointing)

Resident: My god! How traumatic. (To her interns) We need a brick game here STAT!

Nintendo Patents Gaming for n00bs

Great. Just what we need. More gaming accessibility for n00bs.

Honestly, I’m sort of torn on this news. On one hand, I think it’s great that the industry is reaching out beyond its core demographics of pre-, post-, and pubescent male teens. The more diverse the community, the more dynamic the scene will be. With the coming and the eventual rise to domination of the Wii, Nintendo has prove that by minimizing the learning curve, everyone’s inner gamer will be unleashed. More and more moms are playing Wii Sports with their teenagers, and there’s a steady increase in number of “girl gamers”.

On the other, we all know that Nintendo’s only doing this to sell more. Expand your target market, expect more revenues. Maybe that’s not so bad. Maybe decentralizing the expertise on gaming will be ultimately good for the industry, or maybe, by trying to appeal to wider demographics, the gaming experience will be compromised. With game developers targeting a more basic, neutral, common ground in order to attract 40-yo housewives and their 13-yo sons, we can expect a “popularization” of game play, narrative, and–gasp!– even visuals!

What do you think?