We All Fit Together
I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember. Even though I didn't always have the latest consoles growing up, or some of the more popular ones (bitter-much?), but what I had I loved.
This week was the 32nd birthday of Tetris! And as soon as I heard that, I (A) felt really old, and (B) had hundreds of fond memories come flooding back to me about why I loved Tetris so much.
When I was about 12 I remember really really really wanting a Nintendo Game Boy! Though my sister and I already co-owned a Sega Master System II which we got for Christmas a few years earlier. I loved that thing, but that's probably a slightly different story. Convincing my parents we needed another gaming device was going to be no simple task.
A Nintendo Game Boy was going to be my holy grail of gaming. A device that I could take anywhere, secretly play when I supposed to be in bed. Something I wouldn't have to share with my sister, something I could play in my room, something I could take on holiday. It had it all.
This isn't me in the picture below, though it could have been, that was the dream.
This kid from the original advertising seems to have all the accessories, including that sweet portable charging case - It would probably be useful for the modern day iPhone.
Anyway, after a lot of chores, saving my pocket money and probably some parental begging I finally had enough money saved up to buy a Nintendo Game Boy. I can't find any reference information for the price in New Zealand, though from memory it was about $199.95 - no small sum of money back then.
I walked into D.E.K.A with my head high that day, a fist full of cash and heart full of desire.
Finally my dreams were coming true. I had my precious Game Boy. What I didn't quite think through, was unlike with the Sega Master System II which came with built in Alex the Kid, I didn't have enough money to buy games to go with it!
It did come with a puzzle game called Tetris, though it looked lame. What I really wanted was Mario. What 12 year old wants to stack bricks. What was this, Soviet Russia?!
Though you know what? I never got Mario because all I played on that thing was Tetris. A game of blocks, squares, lines and shapes. It had it all! Challenges, time pressure, high scores! It hooked me in. And to this day it's one of my favourite and fondest gaming memories.
Happy Birthday Tetris! And thank you Alexey Pajitnov (creator of Tetris) for enabling one of my defining gaming life experiences.
You can play Tetris for free online right now. Though there is something I miss about the basic LCD version on my Nintendo Game Boy.
For more information on the history of Tetris, check out Den of Geeks article - it's an interesting read, especially if you're a fan of The American's TV show.