The Tetris Effect
THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF A GAME SO GREAT, EVEN THE COLD WAR COULDN’T STOP IT.
Tetris is perhaps the most instantly recognizable, popular video game ever made. But how did an obscure Soviet programmer, working on frail, antiquated computers, create a product which has now earned nearly $1 billion in sales? How did a makeshift game turn into a worldwide sensation, which has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, inspired a big-budget sci-fi movie, and been played in outer space?
A quiet but brilliant young man, Alexey Pajitnov had long nurtured a love for the obscure puzzle game pentominoes, and became obsessed with turning it into a computer game. Little did he know that the project that he labored on alone, hour after hour, would soon become the most addictive game ever made.
In this fast-paced business story, reporter Dan Ackerman reveals how Tetris became one of the world’s first viral hits, passed from player to player, eventually breaking through the Iron Curtain into the West. British, American, and Japanese moguls waged a bitter fight over the rights, sending their fixers racing around the globe to secure backroom deals, while a secretive Soviet organization named ELORG chased down the game’s growing global profits.
The Tetris Effect is an homage to both creator and creation, and a must-read for anyone who’s ever played the game—which is to say everyone.
Also available in the UK from Oneworld Publications
Media and more
The Tetris Effect on TV
TELEVISION AND RADIO
CBS This Morning: "Why Tetris is still popular, generations later"
Marketplace radio: "What you didn't know about Tetris"
WNYC/The Leonard Lopate show: "How Tetris Became an International Phenomenon"
C-SPAN BookTV: "The Tetris Effect"
CBS News: "The Tetris Effect, and how the game captured the world"
WTOP Radio: "The Tetris Effect"
Jill on Money: "#289 Talking Tetris"
Day 6, CBC Radio: "The secret cold war history of Tetris"
Radio New Zealand: "How Tetris can rewire your brain"
PRINT AND ONLINE
The New York Post: "How Tetris Broke out of the Soviet Union"
WIRED: "How One Man Dreamed Up Tetris, the Game That Shook the World" [Excerpt]
WIRED UK: "Cracking the code: How to make your game a universal hit"
WIRED: Block Party: 3 Tetris Tidbits
Barnes & Noble Review: "The Building Blocks of Tetris"
The Spectator: "Is Tetris the greatest video game of all time?"
Shortlist: "Why Tetris is the most important video game ever made"
Monocle: Culture Briefing, Issue 97
Winnipeg Free Press: "Best books of 2016"
Entertainment Weekly: BookExpo America 2016: 11 best moments
CNET Magazine: "How Tetris Conquered the World" [Excerpt]
TWiT: "Tech News Today No. 1609"
The 404 podcast: "Exploding Samsungs and the History of Tetris"
CNET #OpenTab: "The Dark Side of Tetris"
New York Game Critics Circle Q&A/interview
Interview with journalist Paul Semel
io9/Gizmodo webchat Q&A session
Popzara: Podcast, Dan Ackerman talks The Tetris Effect
Warp Zoned: Winner: The Video Game Librarian Award
Gear Hungry: "The Tetris Effect"