Ideas

Ideas

Your brain on Tetris: A history

Box Brown
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Tetris is perhaps the greatest video game of all time. Surely, it is one of the most ubiquitous.

Its inventor, Alexey Pajitnov, was more interested in the human side — the way our brains are wired inspired him to design a puzzle game that plays with our minds, even as we play by the game’s rules. Pajitnov wasn’t much interested in the business of gaming, which was unfortunate because the international tussle over the rights and revenues around the game were as complicated as the game is simple. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, the saga of Tetris played out like a spy thriller — tragic deaths, corporate conspiracies, the prestige of nations hanging in the balance.

“Tetris,” a forthcoming graphic novel by Box Brown, traces the origins of the most popular video game in history. This edited excerpt is but a small piece.

Box Brown