Some Epistemic Benefits of Action-Tetris, a Case Study


We present data and argument to show that in Tetris—a real-time interactive video game—certain cognitive and perceptual problems are more quickly, easily, and reliably solved by performing actions in the world rather than by performing computational actions in the head alone. We have found that some translations and rotations are best understood as being used to implement a plan, or to implement a reaction. To substantiate our position we have implemented a computational laboratory that lets us record keystrokes and game situations, as well as allows us to dynamically create situations. Using the data of over 30 subjects playing 6 games, tachistoscopic tests of some of these subjects, and results from our own successful efforts at building expert systems to play Tetris, we show why knowing how to use one’s environment to enhance speed and robustness are important components in skilled play.

Download options


External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

546 (#16,592)

6 months
27 (#33,478)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Kirsh
University of California, San Diego

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

The Intelligent Use of Space.David Kirsh - 1995 - Artificial Intelligence 73 (1--2):31-68.
Scaffolded Memory and Metacognitive Feelings.Santiago Arango-Muñoz - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):135-152.
De la Telaraña a la Web: Artefactos Cognitivos En Animales No-Humanos.Joan Sebastián Mejía-Rendón & Andrés Crelier - 2019 - ArtefaCToS. Revista de Estudios Sobre la Ciencia y la Tecnología 8 (2):27-52.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reaction and Reflection in Tetris.David Kirsh & P. Maglio - 1992 - First Annual International Conference on AI Planning Systems.
The Epistemic/Pragmatic Dichotomy.Paul Loader - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (2):219 - 232.
The Intelligent Use of Space.David Kirsh - 1995 - Artificial Intelligence 73 (1--2):31-68.
Perceptive Actions in Tetris.David Kirsh & Paul Maglio - 1992 - Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium.
On the Narrow Epistemology of Game Theoretic Agents.Boudewijn de Bruin - 2009 - In Ondrej Majer, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen & Tero Tulenheimo (eds.), Games: Unifying Logic, Language, and Philosophy. Springer.
Tetris: A Game of the Absurd.Robert Harries - 2009 - Philosophy Now 75:13-14.
Beyond Embodiment: Cognition as Interactive Skill.Paul P. Maglio - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):753-754.