Box Brown, "Tetris: The Games People Play"
ASIN: B01M28OM76, ISBN: 162672315X | 2016 | AZW3 | 256 pages | 55 MB
TETRIS: The Games People Play is Box Brown’s history of how the world came to be obsessed with dropping simple shapes into a grid. It’s a twisty, digressive tale, beginning with the Moscow computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov thinking about block puzzles in 1984, but also encompassing anti-gambling laws in 19th-century Japan, byzantine business deals, the thawing of the Cold War, an explanation of the particular psychological itch that Tetris scratches and a murder-suicide. Brown argues for the game’s importance: Initially a hit on home video-game systems and coin-operated consoles alike, it was simple and addictive enough to become the killer app that made hand-held platforms like the Gameboy desirable. Brown’s got a broad, cleanly minimalist drawing style, augmented with bright yellow tones — the cartooning equivalent of 8-bit animation. (His nervous characters have sweat drops flying off their foreheads; the sound effect of a game cartridge being dramatically set on a negotiation table is PLACE.) Still, his designs for the prominent actors in Tetris’s history are distinctive enough to identify immediately, and, as in the game, the story never stops moving until its final pieces are in place. - Douglas Wolk