I just heard someone is making a big budget film based on the game Tetris. I don’t understand this at all. Are the pieces going to come to life? Will someone be playing the game on-screen? Are we all actually stuck inside a giant Gameboy? It sounds like an impossible task and a movie I will hate, but I’ll definitely see it, because Tetris and I have a deep history.
When I was 12, I asked my parents for a Gameboy Color. I’m not sure why I wanted it so badly. We didn’t have a lot of technology in our home and it wasn’t something that usually drew my attention. I was way more into books and paint and dirt. For some reason though, that little handheld console spoke to me. I requested one as a Hanukkah gift, thinking there was no way I’d ever get it.
A few weeks after I asked, we went to Canada for a family reunion. Before the buffet lunch, my dad pulled me aside and told me we were going to the store. I was so struck by the surprise, I didn’t know what to say. We drove to a big department store and walked through the aisles until we found them—all those tiny Nintendo boxes stacked together inside a locked case. He called over an employee, asked him to unlock the shelf, and told me to pick the color I wanted. I couldn’t decide. It felt like the most luxurious gift I’d ever received. It was the most luxurious gift I’d ever received. So I had to make the right choice. At the same time, I was afraid if I took too long to decide, the whole situation would unravel and I’d leave without the tiny computer of my dreams. The pressure was compounded by the chaos of holiday shopping going on in the store at the time.
I settled on the transparent purple and we got two games—Mario and Tetris. I spent a lot of hours on that little machine lining up small colored boxes. It was an activity that matched my particularity and introversion. I could sit alone and organize the world. At the end of a successful level, I was rewarded with a fireworks show, each one bigger than the last. And I really enjoyed coordinating things in peaceful solitude, so I earned some excellent pixelated displays on that tiny two-inch screen.
Since I’ve been tight with Tetris for so many years, I just don’t understand how they’re going to make a movie of the game. Maybe it will just be a room full of nerds sitting in silence. If they need extras, I’m available. I come cheap and can supply my own props.