The History Of Tetris


“Tetris Lamp” by Jared Cherup is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

By: Allen Chhu, Journalist

The History of Tetris

Originating in the Soviet Union, Tetris is a video game developed by Alexey Pajitnov. Alexey originally made the game to test the Electronika 60, which is a computer model, but found that the game was incredibly addicting. Many people who had access to the game pressed Alexey to make a version for the IBM PC, and when he did, it spread like wildfire. Everyone in the Soviet Union who had a PC was playing and sharing it on floppy disks. Alexey did not make any money off of it, nor did he intend to because the idea of owning and selling software in the Soviet Union was unheard of.

He later teamed up with Robert Stein to start producing and selling copies of Tetris. During this time, was also the height of the Cold War, so trying to sell copies to western countries was very difficult. They eventually got the rights to sell in the UK and US in 1988. Then in 1989, Nintendo came out with the new Gameboy. Henk Rogers recognized the compatibility of Tetris and the Gameboy so Stein set off to Japan to convince Nintendo to add Tetris to the Gameboy. Nintendo was hesitant to add it, but they did and it helped the Gameboy to become one of the most popular gaming consoles of all time.

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