'Tetris' helps my weight and anxiety fall away

Tetris helps my weight and anxiety fall away

Until last winter, I hadn’t played video games since my parents allowed me to combine rations and birthday money to buy the original Nintendo Entertainment System, the old 8-bit home video game console with two buttons and a gray top with a flip top . Back then, I could catch or leave Mario and his green brother, but I would have traded my allotment for an uninterrupted time to lose myself in it. Tetris.

The basics of the game were simple: arrange geometric pieces called Tetriminos as they come down to the screen. Finished lines disappeared. My mantra? Always lift with Tetris, the mind increasing four points at a time. The game bothered me, especially on broken heels or a particularly egregious chin zit look.

Lying in bed at night, I would look at the dark shapes in my bedroom, blinking my mind or dressing night or left or right to fit, Tetris-in, with shapes nearby. As I grew tired of school, my eyes shifted to rectangular door frames and exit signs, all wishing to be restarted, pushed together, with no gap for their peers. , and distributed. Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" is one of the blissfully themed songs with acoustic tension, played in the loop of my mind.

When I graduated high school, I left the Nintendo behind, stuck in my parents' family room next to VHS tapes of Full House. The only time I played Tetris after high school on planes. And even then, just when the game was put into the setback in front of me. Nothing like Tetris to distract from stress-inducing distractions. Other than flights, I didn’t play.

Until 2022.

When the pandemic has struck and anxiety and worry, I choke, throw and turn, and shout at my children more often than I should. As I wanted to, I could not capture my emotions. I tried to arrange closets to get my attention. Finally, there were no more shirts to sort by color, no more hoodies too small to load into the donation tub. I needed another revolution.

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Sometime before Christmas, while I was browsing for a new game to add to my kids' Nintendo Switch games library (Mario Kart), I fell Tetris 99. I immediately grabbed the game of my childhood.

"When we look for ways to harass ourselves, we often use a version of something that worked in the past, even in the past," says expert Dana Dorfman New York - based mindset, in terms of my intention to build the game after all these years. "It's like music from ancient times - it can almost capture our emotions," she says.

The tiny day Tetris 99 A cartridge arrived, I crouched up on the floor in the closet of our hall so my kids wouldn’t find me for a few minutes and I fell back into my old rhythm of flipping and stacking block.

According to Dorfman, when emotions are separated, doing something deliberate that gives you a sense of control, something that you can master, gives you confidence. "The game allows you to create pieces that, as in life, come to you faster and upside down, in a way that literally leaves the screen. It's like a microcosm of what you are. trying to do it in life, but if you do it on screen in a more convincing and complex way, ”she says.

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