Ecstasy of Order - a Tetris Documentary

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 Ecstasy of Order - a Tetris Documentary
Written by Ian Elliot
Sunday, 13 November 2011

A new interest in Tetris, and in becoming the world champion, has resulted in a documentary about the whole phenomenon. The Ecstasy of Order is a forthcoming look inside the world of the Tetris master.

To create a world class game that is so good that it will outlast its creator. Not many programmers have achieved such greatness, but most would agree that Alexey Pajitnov did just that with Tetris.

Who hasn't played this highly addictive falling blocks game, and who hasn't thought up a modification to it in the hope that some of the greatness might rub off - but what about the players?

It seems that some are more addicted than others and, even though you might regard this game as something retro and a fond memory, there are players who seem to be dedicated to putting order into the falling blocks.

Yet until recently there was no world Tetris champion. This was only rectified in 2010 when the first World Championship was held in the US and Jonas Neubauer took the title.  The second championship held in LA last month (October, 2011) resulted in three champions being crowned - Jonas Neubauer (NES), John Tran (PSN) and Team Hard Drop (PSN team event)

Riding on the growing Tetris awareness, a soon-to-be-released documentary,  called Ecstasy of Order, has been made about the search for the world's greatest Tetris player. You also have to love the subtitle - nothing ever just falls into place - and I guess the emphasis has to be placed on the "just". Yes, Tetris is about creating order and annihilating blocks. Did you know for example that the following Tetris tasks are NP complete:

• Maximizing the number of rows cleared while playing the given piece sequence.
• Maximizing the number of pieces placed before a loss occurs.
• Maximizing the number of simultaneous clearing of four rows.
• Minimizing the height of the highest filled grid square over the course of the sequence.

(Source Wikipedia.)

So there, the world champion of has to be smart to solve the Tetris problem.

You can see a trailer for the documentary below and it feels like a view into a hot house world where players do nothing but think falling blocks.

The documentary's IMDb page says:

A documentary that captures the greatest world record Tetris players as they prepare for the Classic Tetris World Championship. From the days of Thor Aackerlund and his historic victory at the 1990 Nintendo World Championships, right up to the present and Harry Hong's perfect "Max-Out" score, this documentary expertly chronicles over two decades of Tetris Mastery.

The producers claim that it will be completed for next year and they are taking donations to help get the job done. If you feel like contributing to the project then visit the web site.

Me?

Watching all that Tetris has motivated to the point where I must rush off and dig out that versionof the game I created using Basic ... where did I put that floppy disk...

Ecstasy of Order

Tetris World Championships