Saturday, August 27, 2005


I've been playing Tetris since the first PC version came out, which should be around 1988-89. That was the original version by Alexey Pajitnov. Yes, the one with four-coloured pics (blue, red, black and white only, CGA monitor!) of scenaries of the then USSR. So I caught the Tetris bug way before the Block Game handheld version swept through Singapore about 3 years later. I remember playing that first version on our XT home PC, speed 2mHz. I believe my family was one of the earlier owners of a home PC before it became so ubiquitous, because my elder sister took up computing in JC. So I 漁翁得利 and became an early gamer! Heh.

I've played many many other games over the years, but none has sustained my interest like Tetris has. I wouldn't call it addictive now, though I was really into it when I first found it. And I do enjoy the odd game here and there now. It is a relatively short game, it awakens the mind, sharpens it and it is not repetitive. Indeed, everytime an exam is near, especially the actuarial exams, I find myself firing it up more often. It really does make me think quicker! I like to think of it as an alternative form of examination preparation!

My favourite version of Tetris is that released for Windows 3.11. That should be from the early 90s. In fact, I still have a copy of it and this is the version I've been playing religiously over the years. I've played other versions of Tetris over the years, including a 3-D version, a colour-based version, a sex-based version (very funny! you have to erm... position men and women so that they are in position to erm... copulate), versions with special features like bombs (which make it ridiculously easy) and the list goes on. If you're interested in these variants, try finding them here. I've found many interesting variants there. However, my favourite version is still the plain vanilla version that is Windows 3.11.

Oh, I hasten to add that this version has a two-player version where each player tries to sabotage the other by clearing two lines or more and "transferring" them to the other player. I've recently passed the game to Dan and Stef and have gotten them hooked, especially Stef! Fortunately, I've already announced the disclaimer of non-liability for any marital disputes that might ensue.

Given its huge popularity, it is not surprising to find that it has a number of fansites. My personal favourite is The Tetris Taxonomy. The names given to each of the seven pieces are apt, though a tad crude. But the description of certain Tetris moves and slangs really takes the cake. Tetris does has its own official website but it is currently being revamped.

I was thinking of writing up that promised Life Insurance post when I broke my record (not the highest score, just top 10) on just my second game this morning. Feeling extremely pleased with myself, I decided to write something on THE game. What you see above is the screenshot of that second game after it ended. *Ahem*

216 days to go.


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