10-1 | The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World
The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World
New York: PublicAffairs, 2016. Contents, acknowledgments, selected bibliography, index. 264 pp. $25.99 hardcover. ISBN: 9781610396110
Tetris: The Games People Play
New York: First Second, 2016. 253 pp. $19.99 cloth. ISBN: 9781626723153
Inventions, Cold War politics, friendships, betrayals, revenge, courtroom drama, false contracts, international intrigue, and money, lots of money—this list could describe any number of blockbuster movies or critically acclaimed television shows. In this case, however, it depicts the story of Tetris, starting with Alexey Pajitnov playing with pentomino puzzle pieces in Soviet Russia and closing with a mostly happy ending for the heroes of these stories. I am purposeful about the use of “story” and “hero” here, for this is how these two books—The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World by journalist Dan Ackerman and Tetris: The Games People Play by graphic novelist Box Brown—present the history of Tetris. This seemingly simple geospatial puzzle game, inspired by the pentomino puzzles of Pajitnov’s youth, had profound effects on the lives of people and nations.