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February 16, 2023 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Originally titled Тетрис The trailer for Tetris, an upcoming Apple TV streaming film, appeared. It has an impressive true story.

From the official site:

“Tetris” tells the unbelievable story of how one of the world's most popular video games found its way to avid players around the globe. Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton) discovers TETRIS in 1988, and then risks everything by traveling to the Soviet Union, where he joins forces with inventor Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Efremov) to bring the game to the masses. Based on a true story, “Tetris” is a Cold War–era thriller on steroids, with double-crossing villains, unlikely heroes and a nail-biting race to the finish.
posted by gwint (36 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I was hoping for an animated film featuring a Waiting For Godot gag about the I-piece, but this will do. Looks mindless, fast and fun, just like the game!

Also, from the Tetris Wiki:

Other names [for the I-piece] include straight, stick, strike, line, long bar, vav (or vov, waw), final nun, one, the cyan piece, the long skinny one, the slim jim, tetril, TGM-red, hot shot, long, slim dandy, the flashmaker, long boi, big poppa, thin lizzy, stack-em-up, Euclid's Arrow, four on the floor, George and hero.

posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 10:08 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]

Ooh, that's a fun trailer. Can't beat the soundtrack.

The history of Tetris is fascinating, and I really hope this doesn't go the way of overly-dramatized distortions of how it all really went down.
posted by meese at 10:10 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Tetris, Rated R. Honestly, points for audacity. I'll watch it.
posted by phong3d at 10:14 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]

No post about Tetris is complete without "I am the man who arranges the blocks which descend upon me from up above".
posted by NotAYakk at 10:18 AM on February 16 [15 favorites]

I'm not even sure if I'd want to watch this or not?!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:20 AM on February 16

I highly, highly recommend Brian "Box" Brown's graphic novel story of Tetris, "Tetris: The Games People Play" for a well-researched version of this story that spends some time getting philosophical about gaming and humanity. It's easy to see how you could make a thriller out of the story for the rights of Tetris, but I'm still surprised they went that direction--it could just have easily been a comedy.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:23 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]

Crossing my fingers that some thirsty Hulu exec will rush to market a bandwagon documentary about the recalled Tengen NES cart version.
posted by cortex at 10:40 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]

There's multiple stories about the creation of Tetris. Alexey Pajitnov is clearly central, no one disputes that. But other folks contributed. I went to grad school with Vadim Gerasimov who worked with Pajitnov as a 16 year old student. He wrote the PC version of the game, porting and improving Pajitnov's Electronika 60 version. Here's Vadim's Tetris narrative (with photos). This writeup is quite evenhanded, older iterations I've heard were much more contentious.
posted by Nelson at 10:55 AM on February 16 [5 favorites]

Tetris, Rated R

A porn parody couldn't be made that would be any more ridiculous than this trailer.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:28 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]

Those were some Soviet-era-quality wigs.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:32 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]

thanks @Nelson!

here's the historical part I was curious about from Vadim's Tetris narrative :

Pajitnov stopped by my home and asked me to urgently sign a paper "to get lots of money for us from game companies". He didn't leave me a copy of the paper. As far as I remember the paper was saying that I agree to only claim porting Tetris to the PC, agree to give Pajitnov the right to handle all business arrangements, and refuse any rewards related to Tetris. I did not entirely agree with the content, but I trusted Alexey and signed the paper anyway. In a few months my name disappeared from all newly released versions of Tetris and all Tetris-related documents. Alexey registered a US copyright (R/N PA-412-170) referencing the free PC version of Tetris (original version 3.12) we developed together.
posted by gkr at 11:35 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]

I am amazed how quickly this post and trailer went from what a stupid idea to I cannot wait to see this. When Tetris first came out, I was convinced it was the first post Cold War Soviet weapon - the way it gets into our heads and stays in our dreams and keeps us from being productive has to be insidious. Though the way it apparently helps people with PTSD has changed my mind.
posted by Mchelly at 12:01 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]

Context! That's where the drama comes from! I'll remember that.
posted by amtho at 12:13 PM on February 16

Tengen Tetris > Nintendo Tetris.

But Infocom Tetris remains the best.

> look

You are in a tall chute, looking upwards. There are bricks along the bottom row with a gap in the fourth position, and bricks in the next row with gaps in the first and second position.

A cube appears above you, and begins falling slowly!

> move left

The cube shifts to the left.

> drop cube

The cube slams down into place. The second row from the bottom flashes brightly and disappears.

(Your score just went up.)
posted by delfin at 12:31 PM on February 16 [19 favorites]

They get one thing right -- when this game came out, I played it so much that I would see Tetris blocks in my dreams. I don't think it's possible to understand just how ubiquitous it was if you weren't around then.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:50 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]

Tetris has consumed probably a month of my lifetime, I don't even know how I would quantify it, honestly.
posted by Chuffy at 12:52 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]

delfin: Not quite Infocom Tetris, but a version of Tetris was the first gimmick game (the community term being "Z-machine abuse") to take Infocom's virtual machine and make something which wasn't interactive fiction at all.
posted by jackbishop at 12:55 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Tetris has consumed probably a month of my lifetime, I don't even know how I would quantify it, honestly.

Lucky! I'm pretty sure Tetris consumed about three whole months of my life just in the first year I owned an original Gameboy.

Especially since I had a lot of friends that also had Tetris and we'd play linked two player battle mode all the time. Which is why OG Gameboy Tetris might be the best version of all time. It's true to the original versions, it's portable, and it has split screen head to head battle mode where you can't see each other's screens.

I wouldn't be at all shocked or dismayed to learn I've played several years worth of variations of Tetris at this point in my life.
posted by loquacious at 1:07 PM on February 16

I just finally got around to watching Chernobyl this week and this Tetris trailer is a rather strong contrast to what’s been lingering in my head the past few days.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:16 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Press F to pay respects for Chiaki Nanami.
posted by praemunire at 4:18 PM on February 16

This movie has won 2023. Just give it all the awards already.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:27 PM on February 16

Other names [for the I-piece]

I was an electrical engineering major in 1988 and some of my friends played Tetris as well. In one class we were designing circuits and in tribute called the I-piece the Optimal Loader.

(I flunked out of engineering school because of a Tetris obsession and beer.)
posted by bendy at 7:00 PM on February 16

Either this is very fortuitous or Ninty's marketing time is devious.
They just released the GBA (and... you guessed it... Tetris) for Switch Online.
posted by symbioid at 9:09 PM on February 16

I could get pretty far past the kill screen on NES Tetris back in the day... I maybe played too much Tetris
posted by Jacen at 9:22 PM on February 16

I fully believe you were good at Tetris but without more clarifying specifics I'm gonna be ಠ_ಠ on that specific claim
posted by cortex at 9:44 PM on February 16

Why is the construction of this post almost exactly the same as the construction of this slightly earlier post, also about a new property debuting in the Apple media ecosystem?
posted by onetime dormouse at 10:35 PM on February 16

it does feel a bit Groundhog Day
posted by cortex at 10:48 PM on February 16

Tetris on the Gameboy is the one of the best games ever made -- it's a perfect combination of format and game play. I haven't love playing Tetris as much in any other version. I bought a Gameboy Pocket to play Tetris. I think I still have that somewhere.
posted by edencosmic at 11:03 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Don't you mean the trailer just dropped?
posted by allium cepa at 12:41 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]

Watched this a few times because it's just delightful and with the discourse about accented English in anglophone works (or just accented anything in any language) at the back of my mind it's super interesting all the Nintendo Japan characters speak in unmarked American English compared to the Soviets. (ETA: ok until we hit the President of Nintendo, i assume)
posted by cendawanita at 4:13 AM on February 17

It's hard to beat the classic version. But if you enjoy Tetris at all, you should try Tetris Effect: Connected.

It answers the question: what if Tetris were a joyous, rave-y, globe-trotting celebration of itself?

Just a beautiful thing. Highly recommend.
posted by seinwave at 5:36 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]

Taking advantage of this post to share one of my favorite pieces of Tetris related media:

Tetris God
posted by Greasy Eyed Gristle Man at 9:03 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]

I couldn’t decide whether or not to post my other favorite Tetris story because I can’t find any video for it, so you’ll have to use your imagination. But there’s a fun tradition if you find yourself in the right circumstances (say a nice Friday night dinner) to tell this famous rabbinic tale…

Once there was a great storm that came right before Yom Kippur. It blew through the village causing great destruction, but worst of all, it left the synagogue completely destroyed. The Jewish community was devastated. What could they do? They tried to rebuild but there was so little time and even with everyone chipping in, building materials were scarce. They went to the rabbi, asking “Rebbe, what do we do? We’ve built and we’ve prayed, but we can’t finish before sundown. How can we gather on Yom Kippur without our shul?” The Rabbi was a wise and devout man. He turned to them and said, “We’ve done all we can, but there is still hope. There’s a niggun my great grandfather, the Nintendistoker Rebbe once taught me, that can work miracles. Perhaps if all of us as a community, men women and children, all join and sing it together in perfect faith, G-d will bring us a miracle.” And so they all gathered together on the site of the ruined shul and sang the niggun. And lo and behold, bricks began to fall from the sky, and like a miracle, the shul was rebuilt just as the sun was beginning to set. And that niggun - that miraclulous niggun - goes something like this…

And then you pound the table slowly in rhythm, singing in your best Yiddish accent, ““Dum dah dah dum de dah dum….
posted by Mchelly at 10:21 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]

[related?] If you have any interest in Rubik's cubes, then you will love watching the 40-minute documentary Speed Cubers on Netflix.

If you don't have any interest in Rubik's cubes, then you will love watching the 40-minute documentary Speed Cubers on Netflix.
posted by neuron at 3:09 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]

Tetris without the murders from Lainey Gossip seems relevant here. I did not know about the murders.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 9:03 PM on February 17

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