Memories of boosting my brain with Tetris

Oct 12, 2013 · 2 min read

I got my first computer when I was 13. It was a birthday present, a used PC. It came with Intel386, Windows 3.11 and even a modem. I never got to use the modem, back then Internet at home was something really rare and at countryside almost non-existent. This was 1994, you see.

I loved that thing. I felt safe when the fans begun their song and the monitor made that funny sound of being fired up.

One of the main things I did with it was writing stuff such as poems, diary, school work, beginnings of multiple novels, short stories and more. Oh, I had a printer too. It was pretty neat.

But I also wasted my time by playing the games someone had installed to my PC. There was a whole bunch of them.

Some I played less, some much more. Tetris was amongst those I gave lots of time and effor.

During those years I played Tetris over and over again.

In case you've lived under a rock for the past almost 30 years, Tetris is that game where you stack colorful* tiles or pieces so that they form a nice, even row**. Any real Tetris has seven different pieces and each piece is made of four segments.

My favourite piece was the t-shaped one. It usually saved the situation, being so versatile. Sure, the long one was nice too, but I didn't like it as much as the t-shaped piece.

Yes, I have a tendency of forming relationships with things like my PC or Tetris pieces. That's the way I roll.

After playing for a while my mind kept playing Tetris by itself. The colorful blocks would keep falling down and stacking up in my head.

Since then it's been found out that playing Tetris might not be waste of time. It appears that all that time I spent playing the game I was boosting my brain.

It makes sense: Brain loves puzzles and Tetris is an ultimate puzzle. The game is all about reasoning, problem solving, fast reflexes and whatnot.

Now there are lots of online games and applications for boosting your brain.

Recently I found Lumosity, an app and website. I've used the free version so far, the monthly price is a bit much (and I'm not in for year or more). It seems promising though, with different sorts of puzzles to make your brain more efficient.

Still I get back to Tetris over and over again. It's simple, but challenging. And possibly it does good for my scattered mind.

* There are black and white versions of the game.
** Sometimes the game is horizontal. There are other variations too.

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Suomeksi (In Finnish): 

Sain ekan tietokoneeni, käytetyn PC:n, 13-vuotiaana. Se oli synttärilahja, jossa oli Intel386, Windows 3.11 ja jopa modeemi. Modeemia en sinänsä päässyt käyttämään, netti kotona kun oli harvinaisuus vielä tuohon aikaan ja maaseudulla lähes olematon asia. Olihan vuosi 1994. Se oli ihmeellisen ihana laite. Tunsin oloni turvalliseksi, kun tuulettimet aloittivat laulunsa ja monitori päästi sen hassun äänen käynnistyessään. Yksi oleellisimmista jutuista, joita tein sillä oli kirjoittaminen. Mutta tuhlasin myös aikaani pelaamiseen. Joitakin pelejä pelasin vähemmän, joitakin enemmän. Tetris kuului niihin, joihin käytin aikaa ja vaivaa. Niinä vuosina pelasin kyseistä peliä kerta toisensa jälkeen. Aina pelaamisen jälkeenkin mieleni jatkoi Tetriksen parissa. Palaset jatkoivat putoamistaan kasaan. Myöhemmin on selvinnyt, että Tetris ei ehkä olekaan ajanhukkaa. Ilmeisesti tehostin aivojeni toimintaa pelaamalla. Onhan siinä järkeäkin: Aivot tykkäävät pulmapeleistä ja Tetris on just sitä. Siihen tarvitaan päättelykykyä, ongelmanratkaisutaitoja, nopeita refleksejä ja ties mitä. Nykyään näitä pelejä aivojen tehostamiseen on joka lähtöön. Viimeksi löysin Lumosity-nimisen tapauksen, joka on sekä appi että nettisaitti. Kantsii kokeilla. Toki palaan takaisin Tetriksen pariin uudestaan ja uudestaan. Se on simppeli, mutta haasteellinen. Ja mahdollisesti hyvä hajanaiselle mielelleni.

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