The iconic game Tetris has been an enduring pastime for almost 40 years – it has quite the legacy!
Video games were an invention intended for entertainment and, with the passing of time, they evolved significantly. However, some of them seem to reinvent themselves and are so addictive that they resist the passing of the years. This is the case of Tetris, which was created almost 40 years ago. It was created by the Russian mathematician Alexei Pajitnov, who lived in the then rigid Soviet Union.
What is Tetris?
Tetris is a game that consists of arranging falling pieces. When a row is completed, it is erased and its height decreases. The idea is to prevent the box containing them from filling up with tiles.
After almost 40 years, it is still all the rage. Present in arcades, in all video game consoles and even in cell phones.
It is a game that has a very particular history. It managed to transcend to the world, from a closed communist regime. Nintendo, whose video game consoles are among the most popular in the world, sold more than 30 million units. The offer included Tetris among its games.
Today, there are different versions of the game. It can be played on the PC, on all consoles of the most varied brands and also on Smartphones.
Knowing a little more of its history
The creator of this game, which appeals to young and old, worked at the Dorodnitsyn computer center. This center belonged to the Moscow Academy of Sciences. At that time, the strict Soviet communist regime was in power.
A fan of video games, Alexei wanted to create a game that was similar to the well-known Pentomino. This game consisted of arranging the falling pieces. They were geometric tiles formed by five squares and had to be placed in a box without leaving empty spaces.
Alexei imagined that the pieces could be moved to either side and also that he could rotate them to arrange them. However, being five-square pieces, the game became too difficult. He decided to simplify the game by replacing the pieces with pieces made of four squares.
This gave rise to the name of the game, Tetris, derived from the four-square pieces, (tetra), in combination with Alexei’s favorite game, tennis. However, it was only an idea, since the mathematician could not translate his idea into a computer. The one he had did not have graphics capabilities, as the technology was very backward in the Soviet Union.
He created the first Tetris on a text-only computer, creating the pieces with two square brackets. The prototype was such a success that Alexei’s colleagues became addicted to Tetris. So he began to develop a home version that he distributed to his friends on floppy disks.
Tetris was a worldwide success
The success of the game crossed the Soviet borders. The American, Howard Stern, got to know the game in Hungary. He immediately contacted the Moscow Academy of Sciences and negotiated the rights to the game.
The meeting between Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev boosted everything of Soviet origin and catapulted Tetris to world fame. Even Time magazine considered it the best game in history.
Over the years, Alexei Pajitnov moved to the United States and was able to found The Tetris Company.