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posted by hubie on Saturday April 29 2023, @05:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the From-Russia-with-Details dept.

Despite creating one of the most recognizable video games of all time, Tetris creators Alexey Pajitnov (who first coded the game in Russia) and Henk Rogers (who was instrumental in bringing the game to prominence in the West) have not been all that recognizable to the general public. That has started to change, though, with the recent release of Apple TV's Tetris movie, which dramatizes the real-life story of the pair's unlikely friendship and business partnership.

In Ars Technica's latest Unsolved Mysteries video, Pajitnov and Rogers went all the way back to the game's earliest origins. That includes the origin of "the Tetris song," aka Korobeiniki, which Game Boy Tetris fans have had stuck in their heads for decades now.

Happy 30th Birthday Tetris! 20140608
Most Addictive Game Since Tetris Released 20140318

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Most Addictive Game Since Tetris Released 53 comments

Anonymous Coward writes:

"2048, the most addictive game since Tetris, was recently released. Its origin has been traced back as far as Threes!, which inspired 1024, which inspired 2048. Finally, an improved version, with animations, was written by Gabriele Cirulli, 19 year old from Italy.

The game has enthralled many, and led directly to the waste of countless potentially productive hours. A variety of permutations have since surfaced: 2048 in 3D, 2048 in 4D, and 9007199254740992.

Some ask why it's so addictive. I say, it attacks our pleasure centers in ways that Wesley Crusher already warned us about."

Happy 30th Birthday Tetris! 11 comments

Time Magazine reports that thirty years ago, a little game about dropping geometrically strange thingamajigs originally clusters of punctuation marks into neat, lookalike rows kicked off on a wild journey that led it out of a metamorphosing Soviet Union to the United States. That game, dubbed Tetris after the Greek word for the number four, is today one of the most popular video games of all time going from "blockbuster" sales of 2 million already by 1988 to over 425 million paid mobile downloads today. "I never imagined Tetris was going to be this successful," says creator Alexey Pajitnov. "The simple, yet addicting nature of Tetris still has me playing it a few times every week. I meet fans from around the world who are also as passionate about Tetris as me, and there is no doubt in my mind Tetris will continue to expand and bring its classic appeal to new players in new ways and on new devices, whatever they may be."

Peter Hartlaub says that the problem with writing a tribute to "Tetris" is that there are no great moments associated with it which is pretty much the point of the game. It's about taking the player out of the moment, and into a sort of high-functioning intellectual limbo. "Tetris isn't about letting your mind wander to a different world: It's about shutting it down altogether," says Hartlaub. "It creates almost a meditative state. The DNA of Tetris, still popular in its own right, is evident in some of the most popular games in 2014, including the equally escapist "Bejeweled" and "Candy Crush Saga." Tetris perfected downtime, and this was no small thing. In defending my role as pop culture critic, I often try to explain that there's honor in making someone's BART commute seem to go by more quickly. Some of us create fine art, others craft a way to pass the time."

NES Tetris Beaten 15 comments

Multiple sites are reporting on 13-year-old Tetris player, Willis Gibson, also known as Blue Scuti, who played until the NES version gave out. New play methods, such as rolling and hypertapping, were needed to reach a skill level where one can play as long as endurance and the software hold out. In his case it took over half an hour on the NES using rolling:

Blue Scuti is a Tetris prodigy who employs the "rolling" controller technique, a new way of holding and using the NES controller that was popularized in 2021. Rolling surpassed "hyper tapping," which requires players to tap the controller's D-pad 12 times per second, as the fastest and best way of playing Tetris. Rolling is a method where players roll their fingers on the bottom of an NES controller and use that pressure to push the controller into their other hand, which presses the D-pad to move the blocks. With rolling, players can push the D-pad at least 20 times per second, which is fast enough to theoretically play the game until it breaks. The technique has completely revolutionized competitive Tetris over the last few years.

Also at Tom's Hardware, Tetris was finally beaten after 34 years, game kill screen pops up at Level 157 — hypertapping and rolling were key techniques and the BBC, Tetris: How a US teenager achieved the 'impossible' and what his feat tells us about human capabilities.

(2023) Hackers' Delight: a History of MIT Pranks and Hacks
(2023) Tetris' Creators Reveal the Game's Greatest Unsolved Mysteries
(2021) Tetris is no Longer Just a Game, but an Algorithm that Ensures Maximum Hotel Room Occupancy
(2014) Happy 30th Birthday Tetris!

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  • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Saturday April 29 2023, @07:24AM

    by coolgopher (1157) on Saturday April 29 2023, @07:24AM (#1303861)

    I did not know that it came from a five-block origin!

    And oof, their comments on the spin logic brought back some memories from back when I wrote my first clone (which was a five-block version, and nowhere near as fun - the W piece really messes things up).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 29 2023, @10:48AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 29 2023, @10:48AM (#1303876)
    Anyone watched through the whole video? What are the unsolved mysteries or is it yet another clickbait article?
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by looorg on Saturday April 29 2023, @01:16PM

      by looorg (578) on Saturday April 29 2023, @01:16PM (#1303893)

      It's mostly click-bait I would say. It wasn't really that long, but it's more of the q&a, why did they do this or that or the other. I don't think they really asked or revealed or answered any unsolved mysteries.

      For the most part perhaps the most interesting aspect was that it was written in pascal and that it fakes randomness as it always started on the same number and now it's even worse for the more common and newer version. A weird amount of questions about t-spin and other unintended bugs that became features mainly due to there being so many different versions after a while and all of them doing things slightly differently.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by redback on Saturday April 29 2023, @06:20PM

      by redback (1011) on Saturday April 29 2023, @06:20PM (#1303932)

      its like a reddit ama.

  • (Score: 2) by UncleSlacky on Saturday April 29 2023, @01:13PM (1 child)

    by UncleSlacky (2859) on Saturday April 29 2023, @01:13PM (#1303891)
    Complete History Of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris:
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday April 29 2023, @02:56PM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday April 29 2023, @02:56PM (#1303905)

    Not just the Cold War, but the era of simple games. Tetris is a fundamentally simple concept, a little music, some colors, and very entertaining and challenging. Games of that time and before could "get away" with not having an army of content creators telling complex stories, making boss levels, reward screen animations, etc. etc. etc. Tetris is somewhere between checkers and chess in terms of complexity, and lots of people love it. Today it seems that video games need production content on the order of a blockbuster movie like Lord of the Rings or Avatar if they're going to even approach the kind of popularity that Tetris had back in the day, and I feel like those expectations grew through the 1990s as video games started to come out with 100+ levels, celebrity voice actors, etc. By the 2010s, cinematic quality animation was also becoming expected. I mean, there are still a few "Indie" games that are fun, and popular, but even they are nowhere near as "simple and pure" as Tetris.

    🌻🌻 []
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday May 01 2023, @02:33PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday May 01 2023, @02:33PM (#1304210) Journal

      World of Goo is pretty simple and I could imagine being created by a very small team. How big was the Angry Birds developer? Minecraft also started as a 1 man passion project. Wordle hasn't died yet, either. The potential is still there. There's just a much bigger market for games than there used to be. Back when Tetris was introduced, gaming was a stupid thing for kids. Or something that people wasted time on and really shouldn't be playing. Gaming was held in a much more negative light. The likes of digital versions of Checkers and Chess probably brought legitimacy to gaming in some minds. Could also be that enough old people have died that the negatives towards gaming died with them. I was lucky enough to have parents who were open to their kids actually playing on a computer. Certainly helped that some of those games were "learning games" and just the fact that pretty much everything was text based. Sure, some games had "graphics", but everything relied on the person at the computer actually being able to read.

      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday May 01 2023, @02:55PM

        by Freeman (732) on Monday May 01 2023, @02:55PM (#1304212) Journal

        With a kiddo of my own, the reading aspect for games is definitely there still. Kiddo likes to be read to, to read books, and makes use of reading in games, etc. Even with more graphics oriented games, being able to read so you click save, instead of delete, is useful.

        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"