Bradley Simon bradley-simon

Location: New York, US


Sudoku: a puzzle addiction

Russia is approaching the peak of "sudokumaniya": more and more people are abandoning their usual crosswords and scanwords in favor of a logical game in a form reminiscent of a mathematical problem. What's the secret to Sudoku's irresistible appeal?

“For me, Sudoku online is like a drug,” says 45-year-old Mikhail. "On the way to work, I solve at least two games and get very upset if one of them does not fit." 36-year-old Marina also speaks of her “Sudoku addiction”: “For me, Sudoku is an analogue of seeds: it’s impossible to come off. At the same time, this game is very useful to me: I work hard, and it can be difficult to disconnect even at home - I still continue to conduct an internal dialogue with colleagues, schedule meetings, draw up documents in my mind ... It is then that Sudoku helps me out: the game helps to forget about all problems, because it requires concentration and automatically "turns off" extraneous thoughts. Playing Sudoku gives me a break: I just don't do anything, and that's great. " But is it really that simple?

History of the issue

A puzzle of 9 squares with numbers was invented in 1979 by the American puzzle publisher Howard Games. In 1980, this game experienced a rebirth in Japan and acquired the name that we use today ("su" means "number", "dook" means "one"). It returned to the West thanks to New Zealander Wayne Gould, who improved it with the help of computer technology. Europe's first Sudoku game was published in the Times in late 2004. In Russia today, collections of Sudoku are published, and recently a new service is gaining popularity: downloading Sudoku to a mobile phone.

Free Sudoku easy, like any other game, makes sense,” says the French clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Michel Stora. - By playing it, a person actually gets the opportunity to prove himself, to confirm his own significance and consistency. The rules of the game are quite simple, and anyone can master them. However, the external resemblance to mathematical problems, the solution of which is traditionally considered difficult and intellectual, increases the value of Sudoku in our eyes, allowing us to experience a sense of legitimate pride and satisfaction in case of winning, and thereby increase our self-esteem. In addition, by filling the cells with numbers, we realize our need to bring order to everything and harmonize the surrounding reality.

By straining our brain to avoid repetitions and ordering a seemingly incoherent set of numbers, we channel our negative emotions and find inner peace. In other words, to assert that while playing Sudoku we are not doing anything, at least inaccurately: even if unconsciously, but holding a plate with numbers in our hands, we solve several important problems at once ”.