Bureaucracy in Pure Form

Photo by mamamusings

"Tetris was invented exactly when and where you would expect — in a Soviet computer lab in 1984 — and its game play reflects this origin.

The enemy in Tetris is not some identifiable villain (Donkey Kong, Mike Tyson, Carmen Sandiego) but a faceless, ceaseless, reasonless force that threatens constantly to overwhelm you, a churning production of blocks against which your only defense is a repetitive, meaningless sorting.

It is bureaucracy in pure form, busywork with no aim or end, impossible to avoid or escape. And the game’s final insult is that it annihilates free will.

Despite its obvious futility, somehow we can’t make ourselves stop rotating blocks. Tetris, like all the stupid games it spawned, forces us to choose to punish ourselves."

~ Sam Anderson, from "Just One More Game..." The New York Times Magazine,  April 8 2012 

 

 

Hear also: Steve Zimmer recounts the time when he and his co-workers become obsessed with Tetris, The Moth Podcast, Jan. 23, 2012