Getty | Radachynskyi

Video games often blamed for rotting minds may actually protect them, according to a series of studies.

Researchers report that Tetris—a classic game that takes hold of spatial and visual systems in the brain as players align irregular polygons—seems to jumble the mind's ability to process and store fresh traumatic memories. Those improperly preserved memories are subsequently less likely to resurface as intrusive, distressing flashbacks, which can contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, complicated grief, and other mental health issues.

For those struggling with cravings or addiction, other research has found that Tetris' mental grasp can also diminish the intensity of hankerings and help game players fight off real-life dependencies.

Though the conclusions are based on small studies in need of repeating and further investigation, one thing is clear: the potential video-game therapy has scant side-effects and potential harms. Twenty-minutes of Tetris is just good fun, if nothing else.

In the words of the authors of a new study, Tetris is a "promising new low-intensity psychiatric intervention."

Nintendo therapy