Tetris Legs

Anyone play Tetris? I’ve been playing it a lot this week. A LOT. I’ve been playing Tertris on my phone, in fact, every time my laptop has crashed and had to be rebooted. Which has been… A LOT. I’m seeing something new and shiny, and possibly red, or maybe white in my future. But until then, I’m playing Tetris on the iPhone non-stop. And when I play a lot of Tetris, this thing happens to me at night. I’ll go to bed as usual, I’ll close my eyes… and my brain will start to show me lots of little Tetris blocks, falling, falling, always falling. And rather than sleeping, I’ll lie there and try to play Tetris in my own fool head. It’s like I can’t switch it off.

The same thing used to happen to me at my first job. (Well, my second job, really, but those two weeks in McDonald’s don’t really count.) I worked in a call centre (Yes! I was one of THOSE people! How may I help you?) and the job was hugely repetitive, involving me typing more or less the same commands into the computer over and over again. And every night, after my shift, I would go to bed and when I closed my eyes, my mind would start repeating those same commands, over and over again. My hands would even twitch, as if trying to type on invisible keys.

Then I got a job working for the local paper as an “editorial assistant”, which was just another way of saying “typist”. My job was to type up the community news pages. It took me two full days per week, and must have involved the typing of thousands and thousands of words, to a deadline. After THAT job I’d go home and try to go to sleep, but every thought that went through my head, I’d feel like I should be typing it out, because my brain couldn’t seem to accept the fact that NO, there was no more typing required.

And now it’s running. I did a lot of running this week, all of it on the treadmill at the gym, because it was cold out and I can’t seem to find any routes near the house that don’t involve massive hills. (This will be changing next week, though, because honestly, The Others are going to land me in some serious trouble soon if their habit of clinging to my side like leeches doesn’t stop. And it won’t.) Then, last night, when I went to bed, I closed my eyes and saw… the front of the treadmill and the view out of the gym window. And my legs suddenly felt like they should be moving: left-right-left-right, runrunrun. No matter how many times I tried to think about something else, my brain would be all, “uh-uh. It wasn’t enough that we ran for an hour today.  I’m going to make you relive every last step of that run, and I’m going to do it now. Unless you feel like playing some Tetris, maybe?”

I’m taking a couple of days off from running. And Tetris. (Well, maybe not Tetris, actually…) I think I need it…


16 Comments

  • Lauren Cooke says:

    My brain does exactly the same, including the very surreal and largely pointless playing it in my head, which seems to involve an awful lot of bricks (or equivilent) that simple won’t slot into the right place, even though it is my own brain that is inventing them! How unfair is that? The number of times I have died in head tetris is absurd!

  • Tracey says:

    Oh. Maybe I need Tetris for my iPhone? Or maybe I don’t.

    But yes, that happens to me too.
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Is it just meant to be? =-.

  • Fi says:

    I used to get that with Tetris when I was at school and playing it a lot on my Gameboy. So I sympathise with how annoying it is.
    .-= Fi´s last blog ..Pink =-.

  • I was sick with glandular fever for about three months when I was 16. That was back before Teh Internets had really taken off and our computer had Word Perfect, Solitaire and Tetris on it. To distract myself from the horrid illness, I played Tetris for hours every day.

    I started dreaming in Tetris.

    Eventually, it drove me so batty that I had to go cold turkey.

    It’s probably good to take a few days off running
    .-= Erin Le Clerc´s last blog ..Public Service Announcement: Back Up Your Blog =-.

  • Louise says:

    For me it’s minesweeper. Click, click, don’t click, click. Excuse me, I have to go……. Click
    .-= Louise´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to me…. =-.

  • Hayley says:

    I’ve had that happen with typing, billiards, and solitaire on the computer. Mostly it’s just solitaire now.

  • Cristina says:

    It’s actually really common, and known, funnily enough as the ‘Tetris effect’.

    Here they explain it better than I ever could
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheTet…

  • Terry says:

    My record is over 9 millions lines when I was asleep

  • Oh my god, I know what you mean! I used to play a LOT of Tetris when I was in high school, and the same thing happened to me – I’d close my eyes, or maybe zone out while reading a textbook, and lo! Tetris blocks falling.

  • Steph says:

    Ah, the Tetris Effect! I’ve also experienced something similar with the Sims (attempting to ‘queue up’ actions during my *dreams*) and more recently We Love Katamari (after you’ve spent eight solid hours rolling up tiny objects, you do start to contemplate how many things in your bedroom you can roll into a ball – the answer: depressingly few).

  • Sandy says:

    I’m glad it’s not just me who’s done the imaginary Tetris! My last mind game was the Puzzle Quest board….that was a bit difficult though, maybe I need to go back to the simpler days of Tetris?!?

  • Selina says:

    All of my jobs over the years (including 3 years as an editorial assistant) have involved typing, some more than others. To this day I have a keyboard in my head and everything I say or think gets typed on it. Everything. Luckily I don’t have the tappity tappity tap sound effects as well, that would drive me round the twist!

  • dressjunkie says:

    Can totally relate to this. I dream about running all the time, but they are frustrating dreams. I feel the urge to run but someone has always either stolen my trainers or taken away all my clothes. I never actually get to the running part
    .-= dressjunkie´s last blog ..All I want for Christmas: number one in an occasional series =-.

  • Gemma says:

    I also see Tetris blocks in my head when I’ve played a lot of Tetris, totally normal
    .-= Gemma´s last blog ..How cute??!! =-.

  • Julie says:

    The same thing used to happen to me in college. I worked two jobs as a waitress, and instead of having nightmares about exams, I would work an entire eight hour shift at work. (Table 8 needs a Bass!) Bad enough dealing PEOPLE all day, but to have to deal with these phantom people at night…. Horrible! Why, mind? Why? Isn’t anyone–like me?–on my side? LOL (Sorry, I know you hate that.) LOL again

  • Julie says:

    *at work= in sleep. Working is bad enough. Working in sleep? NOT FAIR!

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