Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Odd Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tetris

Tetris
Tetris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For nearly three decades – yes, as in thirty years – the game of Tetris has graced various devices in its infamous, blocked-graphics glory. This simple puzzle game with cheesy Russian background music has tantalized people the world afar for, seemingly, eons. The primary goal – as if you already didn’t know – is to match up colored blocks to create rows, at which point the rows disintegrate and you rack up score; sounds a lot easier than it truly is before you get to the higher levels. While many or most of us have divvied up some playing time to this cult classic puzzle game, there are some interesting factoids that many Tetris enthusiasts may be entirely unaware of.

The theme song is more than 100 years old… That’s correct, that signature Tetris theme song you like is actually the 8-bit rendering of a Russian folk song called “Korobeiniki.” The song is actually about a peasant girl who falls in love with a peddler (no kidding).

The creator, Alexy Pajitnov, made almost no money off the game… The game was created by a student at the Academy of Science Computer Center in Moscow during the reign of the USSR. Due to struggles between Pajitnov, the state controlled USSR, and the licensing squabbles afar, Pajitnov was basically cut out of most or all royalties. When the Kremlin licensed the game to Nintendo in the 80s, Pajitnov didn’t see one ironic Red Cent for it while the Kremlin took home millions (or by 1980s Russian standards: Billions and Billions of Rubles).

The game is named after the blocks in it… The blocks in the game are nothing new. They are actually called “polyminoes.” They represent 12 different kinds of classic puzzle blocks that have been around and have been used in puzzle games since the 20th century.

The game has been played on large buildings… Sounds outlandish, but it’s entirely true. Back in 1995, students at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands turned an entire building – the Electrical Engineering Department building – into a gargantuan, behemoth-sized real-life Tetris game. It took up 15 floors and was able to be played via telnet (ancient dial-up internet) worldwide.

It actually causes auditory hallucinations… No joke! Playing the game makes people see interlocking shapes and blocks everywhere else they look (after prolonged game play sessions). This odd effect is called the “Tetris Effect” and has been well documented. In fact, it’s been used to help treat patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  

How do You Stack up to the Tetris Champ?
Check out this video that was filmed in Asia, where they host championships for Tetris until this very day. This guy is considered to be the fastest player in the world. If you ever thought that you were good at Tetris, wait until you see this person’s smoking fingers and quick thinking. It will truly blow your mind. And if you thought you were good at this game, it may be a bit depressing to watch how lightning quick his fingers are.


Ready to level up? Don’t forget to check out our fine selection of TetrisT-shirts so you can take out blocks like a real champ!