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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tetris: The Games People Play Review: Tetris Has Quite The Weird History

You'd think the wholesome game of Tetris, that's really a subconscious program to convert us all to Communism, would be quite a boring story in its history. You'd be wrong. And it's not trying to change our way of thinking to be Communist, comrade. Though the main creator of it, Alexey Pajitnov was suppose to be working on a self-diagnosis program or "therapist program" with his time at the Academy of Science of the USSR. That tidbit had me stuck for a minute, the creator of Tetris was coming up with a psychological program for the DOS age. I wish that program is easily accessible and translated. I wonder how the program grades your sanity.

Tetris: The Games People Play
Out Oct 11th
Retail 19.99, Online $14.99 as of writing this
Sorry, that's what happens from reading the book if you're a long time gamer or a fan of old-school games, just thinking about their being any problems with Tetris are almost absurd.

It was the 80's.

Alexey Pajitnov didn't know what he created with the help of his friend Vladimir Pokhilko. Tetris took the world by storm as everyone could play it in the age before cellphones ripped off the core idea and made shameless dumb colorful versions off it.

The USSR, for people who don't know watch 80's movies, wasn't exactly our friend here in America. We were in a cold war. Being the 80's though, business was business and multiple people sought out and wanted to get a piece of Tetris.Tetris: The Games People Play shares this all with a three-color comic.

Don't expect magical dragons or dream sequences, it's a realistic comic, it could be filmed as a documentary. The beginning of the book is that of the dreams of a well made The Emperor's New Groove. If you watch the doc on it, from Sting's wife, because he was suppose to do much of the soundtrack, you would know it was suppose to explain the whole creation of the world and man, but instead was simply an okay Disney film. In the book we read here, author and artist Box Brown sheds light on man just starting out and the love of playing games.

In no time we're seeing the start of Nintendo and then the unimaginable problems Tetris had with ownership problems for various reasons. The reasons include the simple illegal selling of Tetris and how poorly run the USSR, now simple called Russia, was at the time.

There's some climax moments here with the licensing of Tetris coming down on the line on the same day with some very out there business people doing their best to make money on a game where you shove geometric shapes together. It's so 80's style you'd expect a lot more references to cocaine.

Most of the story is the spread and bafflingly bad licensing issues  with a little bit of what you might say pirating software was back then. Making a floppy copy.

Another part is of the simple and humble creator Alexey Pajitnov. Whose kind of just like the friend whose into work and not really trying to make the next great app.

Strangely, there is a dark side, Alexey's friend Vladimir committed murder suicide years later in the story. It gets stranger with the note left by him saying, "I've been eaten alive. Vladimir. Just remember that I am exist. The davil."It's handled in the book too, but that's probably the darkest moment.

The rest of the book is more of just the feel of being challenged and the human need for it. And nothing can be more changeling than Tetris and of course getting it licensed in the 1980's. If a nostalgia fan or just a long time gamer, read a little bit about how all the pieces came together.