Dispatches from the wilds of Proseambique – Tetra

You will not believe me when I tell you this, but Tetris is the most important game in the world.

It may take a grandmaster decades to master Chess. Years of one’s life whittled away in the service of some ancient notion of combat long since mastered by cool, unfeeling machines. Machines you will never beat. It takes mere seconds to grasp the wholeness of Tetris. Minutes, at most. And from the outset you are aware that the machine will win. That it will always win. But each time you will take just a little more from it before it does. But this is not why Tetris is the most important game in the world.

“Tetris,” they will scoff, “is just a game.” and in that, they reveal themselves; the price they paid for adulthood. The price they paid to set aside their toys. The cruel metaphysical revelations on the nature of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy which they learned to relish, even as they felt their dreams dying in the closing chapters of the gospels of their childhood; their own cruel, apostolic denials. But this is not why Tetris is the most important game in the world; for why should we care about their hardened hearts?

More people have played Tetris than read Shakespeare. This is probably true. But it is not why Tetris is the most important game in the world. For Tetris is far more important than Shakespeare.

There is an eroticism inherent in Tetris. The raw primacy of shapes fitting together. Shapes made of fours; four limbs, four eyes, four lips… it is not the most imaginative eroticism; the demand that perfect shapes fit perfectly is far too restraining, but it matters not; this is not why Tetris is the most important game in the world. For what is eroticism, in the face of Tetris?

The blocks never stop falling. And this is important. For it is Tetris. And it is the most important game in the world.

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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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