Friday, 6 April 2012

Tetris is a metaphor for life. Apparently.

Last week, I wrote about how it isn't doesn't always do games a favour when you try to delve too deeply into their symbolism, or lack thereof. So it is appropriate that this month's EDGE devoted a double page spread to "gaming's most perfect and mercurial artifact," Tetris' long block.

"Tetris imitates life." declared EDGE. "You build an even, supported structure out of the raw materials of daily existence, and react to the challenges that befall it. You clear away the detritus to begin anew. Nothing in life is certain, but your hope is at some point that missing piece - that lover, that raise, that child, that job - will appear and fall into place."

The article goes on to compare the long block with the aforementioned lover/raise/child/job, and concludes by equating creator Alexey Pajitnov's assessment of the game ("you play on the edge of your abilities") to "a life well lived".

I don't disagree with EDGE, but I think their comparison of a puzzle game to "life" is a comparison you could make to pretty much anything, especially a game. I'd hesitate to call the article pretentious, but... no, actually, I wouldn't. The article is pretentious.

But it's in EDGE, and if silly articles about Tetris is the price I have to pay for thoughtful,  well-researched articles about the psychology of gamers' avatars and retrospective interviews with the makers of classic games that I'm unlikely to find anywhere else, then fine.

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