If you were a kid in the mid-to-late 80s, you probably played Tetris, the puzzle game in which you match the colours and shapes of blocks as they drop down from the top of the screen.
Today, the childhood favourite can do more than just provide nostalgic entertainment for the evening, according to a new study.
The study, which used the video game to treat adult "lazy eye," shows that when both eyes are trained to work together, there is a dramatic improvement in the vision of the weaker eye.
Researchers separated participants into two groups. One group played the game with their weaker eye, while the stronger eye was covered. In the other group, each eye was able to see only one part of the game (either the falling objects or the ground objects) so the eyes had to work together.
‘The key to improving vision for adults, who currently have no other treatment options, was to set up conditions that would enable the two eyes to cooperate for the first time in a given task,’ Dr. Robert Hess, senior author of the paper, said in a press release.
Now, if only researchers could figure out the medical applications for the entire Super Mario Bros. franchise, people who grew up in the 80s and 90s could happily self-medicate while feeling like a kid again.
-Katharine Watts, associate web editor