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The Man Who Made 'Tetris'

The Man Who Made Tetris Motherboard


Some of these earliest video game experiments he developed on this personal computer were later published as  ​Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection. Upon its release, there was no mention that the games were created on the down low during long hours inside the Soviet central nervous system.

But it was also under those circumstances, with later help from a friend, Vladimir Pokhilko, a Russian clinical psychologist interested in human-computer interactions, that Pajitnov  ​ultimately crea​ted the most successful video game in history.

Tetris was formally released in June 1984 by the Academy of Sciences, after initially spreading among academics and the computer literate by way of copied floppy disks. As a tile-fitting puzzler, Tetris captivated these members of intelligentsia. After all, here was a game constructed of pristine shapes taken straight from Platonic idealism.

The game was later discovered at the 1988 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by Bullet-Proof Software founder H​enk Rogers, who, to make a complicated story brief, ​spread the gospel of the ​tetrominos to a world ripe for fresh addiction. Bullet-Proof released the game in America in 1989. It's estimated the franchise has gone on to sell over 70 million physical copies, plus an estimated 100 million mobile downloads of the game worldwide.

Because it was made during work hours on a government computer, the Soviet government ​claimed all​ rights both to Tetris and to the untold millions in royalties that eventually rolled in. So, despite his sudden international recognition as a developer, Pajitnov remained essentially a working Joe when he joined up with Rogers and Bullet-Proof, immigrating to America in 1990 on the work visa they sponsored. Six months later, Pajitnov brought his wife, Nina, and sons, Peter and Dmitri, to Bellevue, Washington.

Stashed in: Software!, Microsoft, Awesome, History of Tech!, Russia and Friends, Gamers!, Tetris, 1980s, Puzzles!, Vice, History of Tech

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Microsoft's Entertainment Pack: Puzzle Edition was my favorite game for the PC.

I wish they would rerelease it for the iPhone.

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