Playing Tetris for just three minutes can reduce the strength of cravings for food, cigarettes and alcohol, according to a study.
Psychologists say the visual stimulation provided by the computer game could reduce naturally occurring cravings for long enough to ward them off.
They believe it could give a "quick and manageable" fix for people struggling with diets, smoking and alcohol - providing an "essential boost for willpower".
Tetris is a hugely popular tile-matching puzzle video game that was developed in Moscow in 1984.
The research was conducted by PhD student Jessica Skorka-Brown, alongside professors Jackie Andrade and Jon May, from Plymouth University's Cognition Institute.
"Episodes of craving normally only last a few minutes, during which time an individual is visualising what they want and the reward it will bring," Professor Andrade said.
"Often those feelings result in the person giving in and consuming the very thing they are trying to resist. But by playing Tetris, just in short bursts, you are preventing your brain creating those enticing images and without them the craving fades."
In the study, participants were asked to detail if and what they were craving and to rate the cravings in terms of their strength, vividness and intrusiveness.
One group then played Tetris. A second group was sat in front of a screen and told it was attempting to load, but ultimately not playing.
After just three minutes, the participants were again asked to rate their cravings.
Those who played Tetris experienced 24% weaker cravings than those who did not.
Professor Andrade said the research tested elaborated intrusion (EI) theory, which dictates that imagery is central to craving and a visual task should therefore decrease it.
"Feeling in control is an important part of staying motivated, and playing Tetris can potentially help the individual to stay in control when cravings strike," Professor Andrade added.
"It is something a person can quickly access for the most part whether they are at work or at home, and replaces the feeling of stress caused by the craving itself. Ultimately, we are constantly looking for ways to stimulate cravings for healthy activities - such as exercise - but this is a neutral activity that we have shown can have a positive impact."
The research is published in the Appetite scientific journal.