Before fingers throbbed from marathon Candy Crush sagas, before Flappy Bird zoomed across iPad screens from Palo Alto to Manila, there was Tetris — and Stephen Gary Wozniak was its king.
Thirty years ago today, a Russian programmer named Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov created the massively popular and horrifically addictive game that became the first U.S.S.R. video game export to the United States. In a recent Gizmodo article celebrating Tetris’ popularity, Woz jumped into the comments to wax nostalgic about his love for Game Boy Tetris and shot of a little brag on his wizard-like skills at the game.
Just how damn good was he? I’ll let the champ speak for himself:
“I constantly had the top score for Game Boy Tetris in the Nintendo Power rankings. It got to where they wanted fresh names in the list and said they would not accept my submissions any longer. So I spelled my name backwards (Evets Kainzow) and changed the city from Los Gatos to Saratoga. Sure enough, they printed that name at the top of the next list of scores. I even have that issue of Nintendo Power, thanks to a thoughtful fan who gifted me with it recently.
Inventor of the modern PC by day. Tetris virtuoso by night.
If anyone’s willing to dig up their old copies of Nintendo Power, we’d love to see a shot of “Evets Kainzow” sitting pretty at the top.
Photo: Leonora Giovanazzi/Flickr.