Tetris Fantasies

Death, Geometry and the Structure of the Individual

Tetris is a game where a single player is encouraged to organise the chaos given to them from above, a limited space for play of ten by twenty units leads to a limited ability to approach the perfection implied by the simple shapes that are encountered in the world (always a collection of four squares, in their seven permutations). The harnesses of time and gravity make perfection impossible in this world; instead, the player can only attempt, approach, and increase their efficiency. A life’s function approaching the limit, there is no way to win, only to get higher and higher scores, to live as long as possible through increased throughput. Death is inevitable in Tetris, and each passing block seems to come faster than the last. Why does it feel like everything just keeps getting harder?

There are many squares to be organised in Tetris, an infinite number apparently, but only one player is organising them. Other people can only be seen by this individual in faint ghosts; their high scores are there only to be beaten. And the current player can only hope to reach those people by leaving their own mark on the high score table. Employee-of-the-month, world’s-best-mom. But maybe there is an alternative, a world where there is more to each falling tetromino than simply an obstacle to be overcome, a problem to be solved. Maybe there is a story behind the fatal pixels, a bigger space than the ten by twenty grid on the screen. Maybe there are humans out there with more to them than what they produce.

This fanfic takes the form of a series of hand-drawn illustrations depicting fantastical Tetris pieces, each of which is accompanied with a fragment of a story. The cards can be read and arranged in any order, intentionally removing the linear and framed limits of the original Tetris, although the illustration and text on any one card have some sort of relationship with each other.

Hand drawn tetris fanfic
Printed fanfic: imagined four-sided realities
Imagining a tetris without labour