On June 6, 1984, the computer engineer Alexey Pajitnov launched the side project he'd been working on at Moscow's Academy of Science of the USSR: a simple video game—an almost ridiculously simple video game—he called Tetris. In short order, his creation would be called "by far, the most addictive game ever." It would also be dubbed the "greatest game of all time."
In the 30 years since it's been a part of our lives, Tetris—its angled blocks, its earwormy theme song—has infiltrated our lives and our culture. It has starred in TV shows and symphonies and research papers. It has helped us to waste time. And to pass it. In honor of Tetris's 30th birthday, here at 3o things to know about the game.
1. Beyonce grew up playing it.
2. It was part of the closing ceremonies for the Special Olympics in Sochi, with the game's tetrominoes spelling out the word "IMPOSSIBLE."
3. There is such thing as Jenga Tetris.
4. There is also such thing as the "Tetris effect": the phenomenon whereby you play a game for so long that you start seeing its frameworks outside the game.
5. Tetris's tagline when it launched with Nintendo was "FROM RUSSIA WITH FUN!"
6. Due to tetrominoes' function "as a proxy for molecules with a complex shape," Tetris models have been used to study the thermodynamics of nanoparticles.