The Tetris Of Our Time

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 16 2011 @ 9:05am

A reader responds to the rant against Angry Birds:

This is nothing more than a self-anointed gaming connoisseur telling us that we have bad taste. I'm rather reminded of this Nick Hornby passage from Fever Pitch:

A critical faculty is a terrible thing. When I was eleven there were no bad films, just films that I didn’t want to see, there was no bad food, just Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and there were no bad books – everything I read was great. Then suddenly, I woke up in the morning and all that had changed. How could my sister not hear that David Cassidy was not in the same class as Black Sabbath? Why on earth would my English teacher think that The History of Mr Polly was better than Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie? And from that moment on, enjoyment has been a much more elusive quality.

Another returns to talk of gaming:

Based on his comparison of the media attention paid to Angry Birds to the lack of Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 10.46.23 PM attention paid to Tetris, I'm guessing your ranter of the day is under 25. Were he as old as I, he'd know that when it first showed up on our dainty black-and-white Macintosh computers back in the late '80s, Tetris made a very big splash, and in the press plenty of ink was spilled attesting to the game's popularity and addictive qualities. Indeed, the Tetris fad of the late '80s and early '90s bear an uncanny resemblance to the Angry Birds phenomenon today: Tetris was a casual gaming phenomenon that ensnared even people who normally showed little interest in video gaming and thus became part of our popular culture in ways that hardcore gaming titles simply did not.

From Wiki:

While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms, it was the hugely successful handheld version for the Game Boy launched in 1989 that established the game as one of the most popular ever. Electronic Gaming Monthly's 100th issue had Tetris in first place as "Greatest Game of All Time". In 2007, Tetris came in second place in IGN's "100 Greatest Video Games of All Time" (2007).[13] It has sold more than 70 million copies.[14]