Tetris has hit its 30th birthday, and it is still one of the most popular games to date. The idea behind the game is so simple, and a number of other ideas have been created off the back of it. One of those hot creations is current popular mobile and Facebook game Candy Crush. According to some experts, there is a reason why the block game has become so popular. People simply love tidying.
The aim of Tetris is to create full rows with different shapes. One the row is complete, it disappears and the blocks move down a level—or however many blocks were created. There are strategies, and it is all about thinking and planning ahead based on the upcoming shapes as well as those in game-play at the time.
There was no scoring system or levels to it at first, but it was addictive. That may have come from just how simple it was. Eventually, levels were introduced and people started to compete against themselves, friends, and anonymous people around the world. No skills can be gained from playing, which has had experts trying to understand the reasoning behind playing.
Psychologists have determined that the game appeals to basic instincts in humans, which includes tidying. Sheffield University’s Dr. Tom Stafford explained that it is like “scratching an itch.” The problem-solving and feeling of tidying by putting the shapes together is the thing that draws people in. It is that reason for Tetris to be so popular as it hits 30-years-old.
There is even a name for the condition when people see the game after closing their eyes. The Tetris Effect is experienced by many people, and will see the shapes cascading down while they try to sleep. The mind is still working on the puzzles, and it urges the person to play more. This effect happens with a number of other games, including Minesweeper, Space Invaders and Candy Crush, just not quite to the same extent; and Tetris was the first.
Because it became so popular, various games consoles got the rights to add it to their systems. Children were playing it on the go with the Nintendo Game Boy, and people now play it on their smartphones and tablets. In fact, it was the Game Boy version that really helped it gain more of a following, as it became the game to be sold with the individual consoles.
Initially, the creator of the game, Alexey Pajitnov, never saw any profits from the game. It was only until he moved from the Soviet Union (as named at the time) to the United States that he could set up his own company and take control of the rights to the game. From there, he was able to license the rights to various companies, which have gone on to keep the love of the game alive. He has not developed another game since this very simple one.
The game will likely remain popular for some time, especially as an influence for other games. It just goes to show that vintage is still the way to go. Even as it hits 30, Tetris is still popular.
By Alexandria Ingham