10-1 | The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World

Book Review

The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World

Dan Ackerman
New York: PublicAffairs, 2016. Contents, acknowledgments, selected bibliography, index. 264 pp. $25.99 hardcover. ISBN: 9781610396110

Tetris: The Games People Play

Box Brown
New York: First Second, 2016. 253 pp. $19.99 cloth. ISBN: 9781626723153

by Jennifer deWinter

First Paragraph:

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.