I PLAY TETRIS. It is simultaneously the best and the worst video game of all time.
Discounting famine, fascism and genocide, Tetris brought a tear to more eyes than any other Soviet export.
Itâ€™s got a lot going for it. Though it debuted on home computer systems in the mid-â€˜80s, any halfway-knowledgeable video game junkie could tell you it first found widespread success back on the first Game Boy.
Tetris has appeared on virtually every console and handheld since, and derivations of the same falling blocks formula have dominated the puzzle genre.
But the copycats canâ€™t compare to Tetrisâ€™ charming simplicity.
The long, skinny red pieces, the yellow squares, the blue and green L-shaped pieces and whatever those other two are called continue to entice procrastinators of all ages, decades after it was first released.
Iâ€™m one of these procrastinators.
The gameâ€™s addictiveness is unsurpassed, and this is why I hate it so much.
I donâ€™t really mean hate, though. Itâ€™s more like one of those schoolgirl crushes where I pretend to hate him only so he pays more attention to me.
I have problems.
But so does Tetris â€” itâ€™s an affront to the Western world as we know it. I think I can even prove it.
Tetris came out of the Soviet Union just after it started to fall apart from the inside.
In case youâ€™re like me and werenâ€™t born yet, Iâ€™ll give you some perspective â€” that was also about the time Reagan started talking about how the commies were a bigger threat than ever.
In a flawless, perfectly organized world of blues, greens and yellows, a single skinny piece can tear it all down. The more chaotic the blues, greens and yellows, the less effective the skinny pieces are.
But when you have a perfect setup, and when your blocks are perfectly aligned in a marvel of idealism, the skinny pieces are your only salvation.
Quickly and effortlessly, they peacefully displace the rest of the building problems built up by what represents our wasteful and ultimately fatal capitalist system.
When the game reaches its most frantic levels, the strain on these skinny pieces is much greater and they seem to become rarer.
However, with a skilled hand, you can survive longer with greater success by using the skinny pieces like this than with any other strategy.
What color are these skinny pieces, again?
Check back up top, but I think you already know the answer.
Red, of course.
Thatâ€™s the color of communism, my friends. You can probably piece my point together from there.
Even for the â€˜80s â€” and even discounting that hackneyed communist insurrection theory â€” Tetris was a pretty weird game.
You canâ€™t win. Ever.
No matter how hard you try, every success is temporary.
There is no final showdown with a boss in Tetris. Even if you play against friends, the only way to beat them is to avoid losing before they do.
Tetris will wear you down, until youâ€™re tired of working as hard as you do.
No matter how well you play, you always lose.
It has needless suffering characterized by futility and contempt for the chaos that will eventually envelop the player.
Sounds like something Chekov or Ibsen would have written, doesnâ€™t it?
Even if Tetris isnâ€™t a communist game, itâ€™s at least very Russian.