Review: Tetris: The Games People Play

As long as I can remember, the world has been obsessed with games and game systems. I remember having one of the few Colecovisions on my block and everyone watching over my shoulder as I played Donkey Kong. Eventually Atari, became the next rage of game systems, and even more games came out. Few years later, Atari went away, and Sega and Nintendo became the systems that dominated every household in America.

Eventually Nintendo, at the time, was the last man standing, and they certainly capitalized on their dominance as they amassed a ton of video games and all their competitors’ customers. What I do remember, most of all, about Nintendo at the time, is Gameboy. The one videogame that everyone I know was playing even when Sega, Atari, and Nintendo, were competing was Tetris, which seems as it was simple, but was complex. In Box Brown’s sweeping telling of the history of the game, Tetris: The Games People Play from invention to the height of its popularity.

We meet Alexey Pajitnov and Vladimir Polhilko, a pair of computer scientists, that wanted to do something different with videogames, as the history of games itself is delved into in great detail including its benefits. We also meet Fusjiro Yamauchi, the founder of Nintendo, as the reader gets to know how he fell in love with games and how built his company form nothing, introducing innovations that every other video company in the world had never thought of. What we then get to see is a furious bidding war and testing of integrity of Alexey and Vladimir, as their lives have changed forever. By book’s end, a series of events between all the players including a tragedy, not only changed them, but also their fans and culture around the globe.

Overall, an extremely compelling story, that every fan of games would enjoy and need to know. The history as depicted by Brown, is suspenseful, engaging and at times, harrowing. The art by Brown, elevates the story. Altogether, an important story that needs to get in as much hands as possible.

Story: Box Brown Art: Box Brown
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy