November 27th, 2009

(no subject)

Hi all!

Late again, I'm sorry, but unfortunately I'm still sick. Better, but still coughing up my lungs. Thanks to all for all your kind wishes - it's very appreciated!

Now, today's word/phrase is awesome. It's one of those "... there's a word for that?" ones, with a hint of proof that our language really is fluid and always developing!

Tetris effect [pronounced like you think it is, duh!]

The Tetris effect occurs when an activity to which people devote sufficient time and attention begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. It is named after the video game Tetris.

People who play Tetris for a prolonged amount of time may then find themselves thinking about ways different shapes in the real world can fit together, such as the boxes on a supermarket shelf or the buildings on a street. They might also see images of falling Tetris shapes at the edges of their visual fields or when they close their eyes.

This also occurs with many other activities one pursues for a lengthy time, physical or otherwise, including classifying cells on microscope slides, flipping burgers or playing any number of other games.

This can include visual or auditory hallucinations or even sensations, such as when you finish playing an especially long Guitar Hero song (you know, those ones with the self-indulgent 15 minute solo riffs?) and see everything moving around oddly afterwards. Or a long time playing Grand Theft Auto where you get a sensation of flying off of your motorcycle and flying through the air. Or after my last epic round of Assassin's Creed II, I started dreaming about it!)

Annette Earling wrote in the Philadelphia City Paper that the term first comes from an internet consultant Garth Kidd (and in another example of the Tetris Effect, I always think 'Alex Kidd' when I hear his name!) from the city of Adelaide, South Australia, states that the term was coined in the same city's arcades.

Incidentally, Adelaide, SA, is where I am this very moment!

Tim's lawyer was disappointed when Tim decided not to plead insanity on four counts of beating a person to death with a giant black mallet, under suspicion that he was trying to steal his Power Stars. He knew the game could not be salvaged as Tim announced that he was suffering from the Tetris Effect.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get ready to see Jeff Martin and The Armada play. Any fans see him live?