Tetris: The Games People Play
By Box Brown
Paperback with flaps, 256 pp, £12.99
It is, perhaps, the perfect video game. Simple yet addictive, Tetris delivers an irresistible, unending puzzle that has players hooked. Play it long enough and you'll see those brightly coloured geometric shapes everywhere. You'll see them in your dreams. Alexey Pajitnov had big ideas about games. In 1984, he created Tetris in his spare time while developing software for the Soviet government. Once Tetris emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, it was an instant hit. Nintendo, Atari, Sega — game developers big and small all wanted Tetris. A bidding war was sparked, followed by clandestine trips to Moscow, backroom deals, innumerable miscommunications and outright theft. New York Times–bestselling author Box Brown untangles this complex history and delves deep into the role games play in art, culture and commerce. For the first time and in unparalleled detail, Tetris: The Games People Play tells the true story of the world's most popular video game.
Box Brown is an Ignatz Award–winning cartoonist, illustrator and comic publisher from Philadelphia. His book Andre the Giant: Life and Legend was released in 2014 and spent three weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. He launched the independent comics publishing house Retrofit Comics in 2011.
"Tetris is a remarkably spare work, cleanly and effortlessly introducing countless real-life characters and companies that intersect and tangle together in a game of tug-of-war."— GQ Magazine
"Brown chronicles Tetris's spread and the software giants' desperate dance around the rights for various markets, and ponders humanity's need for games. The result is a decent introduction to a fascinating moment in cultural history."— The Guardian
"[A] look at the creation of Alexey Pajitnov's enduring classic and the drama that ensues when people with big bags of money try to cash in the game's popularity."— Kotaku