Why is Tetris so addicting?

Tetris. It’s the iconic puzzle game that everyone has played at least once. It is currently the third best-selling game of all time, being beaten by Grand Theft Auto V and Minecraft. It is a remarkably diverse game, as there is a large community of casual and competitive players. The various versions of the game also contribute to its diversity since the community of classic Tetris on the NES is a lot different than the community of modern-day Tetris games such as TETR.IO. But how is this game still relevant after being released over 30 years ago?

“We have an inherent desire to create order out of chaos, and Tetris satisfies that desire on a very basic level while being easy to understand and quick to learn.”

— Alexey Pajitnov

The main goal of Tetris is to clear as many lines as you can to gain score. You clear a line by placing ten blocks, or tetrominoes, together in a row. A tetromino is made up of four squares, and they can take up various shapes. Clearing four lines with one tetromino is called a Tetris. This simple concept has been pushed to the extreme by the developers and players of the game. Modern-day Tetris has many mechanics and gimmicks that are much different than classic Tetris such as the Zone mechanic which is in Tetris Effect: Connected. This mechanic is pretty complex, but it is a time freeze mechanic. Check out the video below to see the Zone mechanic in action. All these things, from the community of the game to the developers creating new and interesting twists to Tetris all caused the game to not completely die out over the past generation that it has existed.

Example of the Tetris Effect Zone mechanic demonstrated by Tetris YouTuber, Wumbotize.

I’ve been playing Tetris for 6 years, and after all that time I have never been bored of it. Every time I open the game, I struggle to turn it off. The simple gameplay as caused millions of people to be completely addicted to this game, but why? What makes this game so addicting? According to Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, on the official Tetris website, “Tetris is a very simple game, but it appeals to many players because it’s both visually and intellectually challenging. I think that’s what makes the game so addictive. We have an inherent desire to create order out of chaos, and Tetris satisfies that desire on a very basic level while being easy to understand and quick to learn.” The game is addicting to everyone because of how it pleases our desire to organize things that aren’t organized, and how the simple gameplay can be fun and challenging to all. The reason I am addicted to the game is because of how satisfying it is to make a giant tower of randomized blocks and destroy them right after. Everyone is different, and there could be other people that enjoy the game because of its challenging yet simplistic gameplay.

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Tetris has been able to stay relevant after three decades. This is because of its addicting gameplay that allows players to fulfill their inner desire to create order from chaos and its challenging yet simple gameplay. The developers of the game also contributed to its addiction factor, as they constantly add new and interesting twists to the already legendary game. All these things have kept the series alive and relevant and have made it even more addicting than it was before. Tetris will forever be known as one of the greatest games in history, and it’s all because of how addicting it is.

Logan Gorospe is a freshman member of The Quill