What is it about Tetris that keeps us playing?

  • @RebeccaJ

It’s more than 25 years old and it’s still going strong – so strong, in fact, that ‘Tetris’ has been downloaded (and paid for) by 100 million mobile- phone owners.

Its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, puts its enduring success down to its simplicity. “It’s appealing to all demographics, all cultures,” he says. He’s right, explains Tom Chatfield, author of ‘Fun Inc. Why Games are the 21st Century’s Most Serious Business’. “This simple creation has outsold the biggest movie blockbuster, made more money than the most expensive artworks, and accounted for more human hours than even the most compelling soap operas,” hewrites. But, looking at the game’s history, it’s no surprise that ‘Tetris’ is so popular. This is a game that was – in a slightly different form – played by the Romans. This puzzle, known as ‘pentominos’ and involving pieces made from five squares, was based on games from Ancient Greece. When it comes to puzzles, it seems like the old ones are the best.