August 10th, 2007

Maybe (probably) I’m taking this too far, but I’ve always wondered what theories we could come up with if we tried to analyze the Russian-ness of Tetris. Granted, this isn’t the first time I’ve tugged Tetris in a direction it was probably never meant to go. Still, there must be some just-for-fun connections we could draw between the gameplay and the culture and political climate from which it originated.

The best I can think of is the whole Soviet Block thing. The metaphor gets confusing though. You have to fit smaller blocks together to make one big row (i.e. joining smaller countries to form one big U.S.S.R.). That’s the only way to win, so it would seem to be a pro-Soviet message. Then again, once you form the rows, the blocks disappear, so maybe it’s actually some sort of prediction/visualization of the eventual fall of the U.S.S.R. I warned you, I’m taking things too far. Any better theories?

Tags: casual games, Eastern vs. Western, thinking and over-thinking

5 Responses to “Breaking Up the Soviet Block?”

  1. nectarine Says:

    You get some crazy comments…

    In the spirit of the post, I suggest that as the smaller blocks join together country borders become meaningless. Communism was supposed to spread all over the world to become one single block. Maybe when the tetris block vanish the enter a higher plane of existence, apart from the imaginary borders. That seems a bit too utopian though.

  2. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Indeed. And those crazy comments go away :).

    That’s definitely an interesting idea, the disappearance of borders. I do wish I knew more about the history of pop culture (and popular sentiment) in the Soviet Union. I feel like, by the 80’s, there wouldn’t have been such a Utopian feeling about communism anymore…

  3. Anne Packrat Says:

    How does Tetris porn fit into all this? Is it a comment on the repressed nature of homosexuals in Russia? Or is it just some shapes getting it on with each other?

  4. nectarine Says:

    I think it depends who you talk to, but the socialism in communism seemed to hit a brick wall by the time Stalin took it over. So way before the 80’s.

  5. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Hmm, maybe just the repressed nature of all express sexuality in the U.S.S.R.? Then again, I really know nothing on how sex was regarded in Soviet Russia. I can only assume, given the totalitarianism and repression of the system, that (non-normative) sexuality wasn’t received well..

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