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Today in History: June 6th, 1984

Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

The Video Game Tetris is Released to the World

On June 6, 1984, the world of video gaming changed forever with the publication of Tetris. This simple yet captivating puzzle game quickly became one of the most iconic and beloved games of all time. Its journey from a small computer lab in the Soviet Union to global fame is a fascinating story of innovation and cultural impact.

Tetris was created by Alexey Pajitnov, a computer scientist at the Academy of Science of the Soviet Union in Moscow. Inspired by a traditional puzzle game called Pentominoes, Pajitnov wanted to develop a game that was both fun and challenging. He designed Tetris with the idea of fitting different shapes, called “tetrominoes,” into complete lines without any gaps. When a line is completed, it disappears, and players earn points.

Alexey Pajitnov holding two versions of Tetris.
Alexey Pajitnov, Soviet computer engineer and programmer, and developer of one of the most popular computer games in history, on September 3, 1989. (Photo Credit: Wojtek Laski / Getty Images)

The first version of Tetris was programmed on an Electronika 60, a Soviet computer. From there, the game spread like wildfire among Pajitnov’s colleagues, who shared it on floppy disks. It didn’t take long for the game to cross borders and reach the West. Its addictive gameplay and universal appeal caught the attention of various companies, leading to its widespread distribution.

Tetris achieved international success when it was licensed to Nintendo, which included it as a bundled game with the Game Boy in 1989. This move catapulted Tetris to global stardom, making it one of the best-selling video games ever. The game’s simple mechanics and endless replayability have made it a timeless classic, influencing countless other puzzle games and becoming a cultural phenomenon.

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Today, Tetris is recognized as a pioneering video game that has left a lasting legacy. It has received numerous awards and honors, cementing its place in the history of gaming. Its publication on June 6, 1984, not only marked the birth of a legendary game but also showcased the potential of video games to bring people together across cultural and political boundaries. It remains a beloved game that continues to captivate players of all ages around the world.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News