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Belated Friday Frivolity: Soviet Tetris

I apologize for the lateness of this weeks Friday Frivolity, owing mainly to the fact that yours truly is currently suffering from "anonymous illness" (I'm thinking it might be strep), which has seen me asleep for the past 11 hours. So before the combination of Ibuprofen and NyQuil kicks in - to be honest, I probably have about 25 minutes before I find myself curled up on the futon, staring with bloodshot eyes into the swirling abyss that will be my waking nightmare - one of my friends brought this little diddy to my attention: The "Complete History Of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris." As one might suspect, our tale begins with the reign of Czar Nicholas II: The workers toil, the people live in poverty, and as Marx and Engels wrote in the opening line of The Communist Manifesto, "A spectre is haunting Europe -- the spectre of communism."

I have a particular affinity for Soviet-theme humor - for the record, I don't actually find totalitarianism funny - ever since a particularly weird night, some years ago, prompted me to declare my then-active myspace "too individualistic," set my music to the Soviet national anthem, Photoshop my face onto Stalin's body, and adorn the page with a slew of hammers and sickles. Thus, "The People's Space" was born, providing in upwards of one week's worth of entertainment and causing me to once again consider the possibility that I have undiagnosed ADHD.

Oddly enough, for those who don't know the history of Tetris, the game originally came from the Soviet Union. Alexey Pajitnov created the classic while working at "the Computer Centre in the Russian Academy of Science" in 1984, and after being ported to IBM PC, became a success in the Soviet Union. However, due to the nature of the Soviet system, Pajitnov's game was owned by the State; thus he received (at least initially) no profit from the game's success. Video game publisher and designer Henk Rogers discovered the game at a Las Vegas trade show about four years later, and subsequently traveled to the Soviet Union for the purposes of securing the rights to the popular game. He was successful, and Tetris became a smash hit on the Game Boy. After emigrating to the United States, Pajitnov, along with Rogers, went on to found the Tetris Company - and the rest, as they say, is history.

So after that long digression, check out the video! It is most amusing, well-produced, and generally lovely. For those who wish to learn more about the game's history - sadly, there is no information on strategies for collectivism in a post-capitalist State, nor a beginner's guide to dialectical materialism - check out the following link!

2 Comments

JTSpender said:

Okay, as a total aside, I have to say: I love that the comment spam has moved from "OMG this post is so insightful!" to a grumpy professor grading papers.

I'm curious whether they're just doing something different because the old stuff was losing effectiveness, or if these negative but vaguely more articulate comments actually get more clicks... that would be some interesting psychology, there.

SuperSwede said:

Yeah, about to delete that one.

My favorite was one that said something like "your article was very insightfull but you need to work on speeling and your punctonion grammatical. Good reading!"

Needless to say, I'm not going to be lectured by a soulless machine, particularly when its posts contain both grammatical and spelling errors. Good job, champ.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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SuperSwede on Belated Friday Frivolity: Soviet Tetris: Yeah, about to delete that one. My favorite was one that said something like "your article was very insightfull but...

JTSpender on Belated Friday Frivolity: Soviet Tetris: Okay, as a total aside, I have to say: I love that the comment spam has moved from "OMG this...

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