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Pack it Like Tetris

By Guest
August 29th, 2012 - 8:06 AM

If you're thinking about packing and moving, then you're probably not just playing games. Maybe you should be though. You also might think about one game in particular: Tetris.

A 2009 study conducted by researchers at the Mind Research Network, adolescent girls after playing Tetris showed greater brain efficiency and developed thicker brain cortexes. Scientists doing magnetic imaging resonance scans of the girls noticed increased thickness in areas of the girls' brains associated with visual, tactile and auditory functions. Interestingly enough, these were not the same areas where the test subjects demonstrated greater brain efficiency. These were in areas associated with critical thinking, reasoning, language and processing.

Now, you might be wondering what that has to do with packing. Tetris is a popular video/computer game that simply requires a player to fit differently shaped pieces into as tight and efficient a configuration as possible. The L-shapes, T-shapes and other shapes fall down into the screen at a faster and faster pace at higher and higher levels of play. There's no study that directly applies Tetris practice to packing efficiency, but it almost certainly wouldn't hurt to try it out beforehand. Some folks have even been heard to use "tetris" as a verb in regard to packing, as in: "Hey, you really tetrised that furniture in tight." With that in mind, one Tetris champion on a gaming website recently doled out some tips and applied them to packing and moving.

  • Look at all the pieces (boxes) as a whole before starting to place them. Putting one oddly shaped box in the container or truck might make placement of the other boxes more difficult.
  • Hold back on placing an odd shaped item right away. You might discover in the course of packing  that without even trying, you have created a perfect spot for that box or musical instrument.
  • Stack things as flatly as possible. Flat stacking maximizes the use of space and helps to stabilize a load.
  • Have some long boxes available. They're good for filling in odd spaces where large boxes won't fit.
If Tetris techniques don't work for you in packing, then playing Tetris might reduce any stress moving and working to move produces. A 2010 Oxford University study showed that playing the game appears to have a beneficial effect on and reduce the stress experienced by victims of trauma.

Ben Boulden is our newest guest blogger. A popular reporter and columnist in Fort Smith, AR, Ben's book "Hidden History of Fort Simth" hit the shelves in February.