Tetris is the kind of game that only a Soviet could have envisioned. As yerricde points out in his writeup, Pajitnov et. al were far from the first to conceive of omino puzzles; but their version of it, upon even the most cursory deconstruction, shouts out a strong Soviet influence.

First, look at the goal of the game: You, aka the central planner, must cram as many differently shaped and coloured pieces into the same rigid box as you can. Doesn't matter who or what they are - some are tall, some short, some can be used in many innovative ways and some are square and immobile; all serve a purpose under Bolshevism, and you achieve points by maximizing harmony (aka creating lines). And when you do so, the threat of systemic collapse is reduced a little bit.

There are no spare parts. Some newer versions allow you to "bank" a piece for later retrieval, but this is a bourgeois, capitalist innovation. In the original, you must make do with the pieces you have; all piece requisition applications will be denied.

Here is where the implicit criticism of the regime creeps in. At first, central planning is easy, even rewarding; witness the relative economic parity between North and South Korea in the early sixties. But as time passes, you get pieces which simply will not fit in right; gaps occur, complexity increases. Holes start to appear in the facade which must be filled by propaganda. Events start coming at you faster and faster, and as the game progresses it becomes harder to deal with them effectively; sure, you can still clear lines halfway up the box, but the foundation is weak.

Eventually, the jumble of pieces is near breaking point, and you start attempting wild strategies to stave off the impending revolution, but it is for naught. The rigid box, which has survived for decades, suddenly spills over with malcontents and you wind up being locked in a closet for three days.

Finally, in Tetris, unlike good Japanese games, you cannot win; like a Soviet peasant, you simply avoid death for as long as possible.



This video has been pointed out to me many times since it came out. I should point out that it was released five months after this writeup was posted.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.