TIME Video Games

Tetris Still Taunts: The Game’s Legacy 30 Years Later

While the iconic game has reached recognition worldwide, the man behind Tetris remained relatively unknown for decades

On the 30th anniversary of Tetris’ creation, here’s a look at the Russian mastermind who made the world care about falling blocks.

TIME’s Editor Dan Stewart talks about Tetris’ inventor, Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian computer engineer who created the game in 1984 but struggled for decades to earn royalties from its ubiquitous success.

Pajitnov came up with a game so addictive that he once said he couldn’t stop playing long enough to finish programming it. “The program wasn’t complicated,” he said. “There was no scoring, no levels. But I started playing and I couldn’t stop.”

While Pajitnov is still programming games, Tetris remains his magnum opus.


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