Monday, December 1, 2008

Miss Tetris-Pants

Hello, my name is Carla, and I am a Tetris addict. Not since Donkey Kong and Pacman has a game captivated me so much.

Yes, that’s right. Pacman and Tetris. I have the most boring taste in video games—not to mention that apparently I’m still stuck in the 80’s.

But there’s just something about Tetris that is so incredibly addictive.

I really don’t know why I like it so much, though. It’s a very spatial game, and I am not a very spatial person. I remember one time back in high school, we had to take these logic tests, some of which involved looking at a shape, turning it around 90 degrees in your head, and circling the shape that it should look like then. Now, I’d always gotten good grades and had considered myself to be a pretty smart person up to that point. But in that part of the test, I was absolutely clueless. I remember being mortified that the “class clown,” who spent virtually all his time drawing cars and airplanes, was finished with that section of the test before I was even halfway through. “Oh my God, I’m not that smart!” I realized. I panicked and started rushing through the questions, guessing on at least half of them. It was a very humbling moment for me.

Since then, I’ve realized that my lack of spatial intelligence explains why I’m terrible with directions and can get lost in my own house. I’m serious—last night I forgot where the bathroom was. Thank God I have Iwanski to guide me.

So anyway, with all my spatial ineptness, why on earth would I like a game that completely deals with spatial relationships between objects?

Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. But the thing is, I’m pretty good at it. And the pretty, colorful shapes just beckon to me…

Several years ago, I had a brief fling with Tetris, but that ended when our old computer died. Now, I’ve once again began having an affair with Mr. Tetris. And it’s all Facebook’s fault.

Why, oh why did I have to look at the updates of my Facebook friends, only to discover a new, exciting version of Tetris—Tetris Sprint! No, this is not just regular old Tetris—it tests how quickly you can clear 40 lines of shapes. Then I discovered that our friend Boskey had scored a remarkably fast time of 2 minutes, 25 seconds. How on earth had he been able to do that so quickly? I was intrigued. And given my competitive nature, I had no choice. I had to try Tetris Sprint.

Two long hours later, I was able to get my time down to a low 2 minutes, 38 seconds! Whoo-hoo! But it still wasn’t as low as Boskey’s score…damn!

So back to the drawing board—er, computer…and on it went for hours and hours…

And still, after several (non-continuous) hours of game play and a few hours of carpal tunnel pain later, I have not been able to beat him.

Damn. It.

I really would like to win. But there’s one slight problem. Even when I’m not playing the game, I still can’t stop the shapes from going through my mind. And that, my friends, is just a wee bit annoying.

For example, last night, Iwanski and I were watching the movie “No Country for Old Men,” and although I was following the storyline (it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time), in my mind’s eye, I still kept seeing squares and rectangles floating right on down into the movie. I seem to recall at one point a square fitting perfectly into the divot on Tommy Lee Jones’ cowboy hat.

Later, as I tried to fall asleep, I couldn’t get the shapes to stop. I tried watching t.v., listening to the radio, meditating, and praying. Nothing helped. Finally, I gave up and took a half a Xanax (which are normally reserved for airplane trips—but hell, I needed to do something). Yes, that’s right. I needed to take drugs to help break my addiction.

So this is it—I am officially breaking away from Tetris for at least the next few days. I have to—otherwise, those damn shapes will drive me crazy.

Hmm, I wonder if anyone has ever gone crazy from Tetris?

I’ll tell you something, I don’t want to be the first one to find out.

11 comments:

sageweb said...

I havent tried the facebook tetris yet. I will have to see if I can beat Boskey. I love a good challenge. Like playing word twist with Sfoofie..no one in history will ever be able to beat her. I love how you described seeing the shapes, I so know what you are talking about.

Buck said...

The fact that you took narcotics to break an addiction - - -oh, that is hilarious!

I am SO going to wipe up everyone in Tetris Sprint. I was THE Tetris champion back in 1988. . .

Leah said...

Just reading the word TETRIS makes me shake-I was hooked on that too in a past life.:P There's got to be a "Tetris Anonymous" group out there somewhere for you!!

Sling said...

I was hooked on 'Pong' and 'space invaders',back when you were Miss Diaperpants,but I can't get the hang of any of the newfangled games.

rosemary said...

I play tetris on my Nintendo DS...it is a challenge for me for sure. I am much better at Webkinz games.

MaryRuth said...

Glad to hear I'm not alone in my addiction. I have been "sober" from Tetris since 1990.
Back then I didn't have a computer at home, so I went to work an HOUR early every day so I could play on my workstation. One of the engineers rigged up a "boss key" for me so I close the game if anyone was snooping around.
I know what you mean about the shapes filling your mind. That you had to take a pill though is a little scary.

Eastcoastdweller said...

I don't know much about Tetris, but I do know that on summer evenings, after pulling weeds in the garden for a while, I see them in my mind's eye all night long,still waiting to be pulled.

So You are not insane. And if You have to have something floating in front of Your eyes, better that it be simple shapes and not the ghastly denizens of some more complicated and violent video game, in my opinion.

LostInColor said...

I used to be a tetris addict, like 18 years ago! I remember falling asleep thinking of tetris... It was crazy! I had to stop playing for awhile to get my sleep back to normal. really! Might be dangerous, but I think I will take a peak at the facebook tetris.

Kimberly Ann said...

It isn't tetris, but I have gone wacko over computer games and had them keep me awake at night. I was previously addicted to World of Warcraft (not to the point of dressing up like Star Trek fans do, but still) but thankfully I can now play for an hour or two and then walk away. Yeah, that's still and hour or two lost but it could be worse.
Good luck on going cold turkey with tetris.

Diane said...

Anyone a fan of Jezzball or something like that? I accidently discovered that in 1997 on a computer. FUN! FUN! FUN!

Lorraine said...

Oh, crap...there's Tetris on Facebook...