Tetris TV: A look at the weird places we've stuck Tetris
True story: When I was a freshman in college in the late '90s, my roommate and I had an NES in our dorm room that people would come over and play with. Though we had just reached the 64-bit era of consoles at that point, people loved to come play games from our formative years and socialize.
Everything was fine and fun until somebody gave us a Tetris cartridge.
From that point onward, people stopped coming and going from our room, and sort of just came and stayed. During most hours of the day, there was someone who wasn't me sitting on my bed playing Tetris...and it got old pretty quickly.
One morning after I had spent all night doing something (let's just pretend it was studying) a kid came knocking on the door asking to play Tetris.
"No, man, it's 8 a.m. and I'm trying to sleep," I said, and started to close the door.
The kid put his foot in the crack between door and the jamb, and said "Come on, don't be a dick."
This story ends after a heated exchange of words which culminated in me smashing the Tetris cartridge against a cinder block wall and then cramming it down a heating duct. While it brought an end to everyone's Tetris fun, it more importantly brought me to the point of this little article: all the odd places we've crammed Tetris.
Not in the frenzied flying-off-the-sleep-deprived-handle sense like I did, but the novel sense like today's announcement from Dish Network, Oberon Media, and the Tetris Company. The three partners today announced that there will finally be a Tetris Channel.
Yes, now with Tetris TV, Dish Network subscribers will have access to an online version of two different versions of Tetris for $2.99 per month. It's the first instance I've come across of "Subscription-based Tetris on TV," and it should fit right in the annals of Tetris history along with some of these other oddities from the long 25-year history of Alexy Pajitnov's greatest invention:
Tetris on the TI-83 Calculator:
"Scopetris" on an oscilloscope (by engineer Lars Pontoppidan):
Tetris coded in the .NET Micro framework (by Pavel Bánský):
Though only 23 games were made for Nintendo's ill-fated, seizure-inducing Virtual boy, two of them were versions of Tetris.
Proving that the game has appeal beyond the sense of sight, there was reportedly a version of Tetris hidden in Braillenote terminals, accessible only by entering the code "playtime" during startup.
Nintendo started handheld gaming way before the Game Boy with its LCD Game & Watch games. Later on, it continued its LCD gaming history with devices like this Tetris watch. The one pictured below belongs to professional skateboarder and MTV reality show star Rob Dyrdek. The diamond embellishments weren't a standard option back when this watch was new, I'm afraid.
And this, of course, which needs little explanation.