By Francesca Trianni
June 6, 2014

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.

 

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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