Sunday, April 3, 2011

Throwing Shapes: An Informal Tetris Lexicon


When we lived together briefly during college, my younger brother Josh and I played a lot of Tetris. Like a whole lot of Tetris.

We played so much Tetris, in fact, that we quickly found ourselves needing a more nuanced language to discuss the types of scenarios we encountered in the game. I touched on our shared Tetris vocabulary in "Player One, Player Two," the essay I wrote for Kill Screen Issue 0 (which is now sold out, unfortunately). In the interest of posting frivolous b-side material on the Internet, I figured I'd post a more fleshed-out lexicon of the words and phrases that emerged during our play.

One last note of context: we only played 8-bit NES Tetris and only 'Type B,' which involves trying to complete a quota of 25 lines on a level that has been seeded with a jumble of randomly generated block clutter. We played 'Height 5' on each level, which also happens to be the maximum amount of initial wreckage allowed, because anything else would've been a sign of weakness and Heights 1 - 4 exist solely for tongue-chewing hobbyists.