Today, as we commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall two decades ago, let's take a moment to remember Tetris, the landmark title that brought gaming to the masses.
Tetris was the brainchild of Soviet computer engineer Alexey Pajitnov who developed the game while working at the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Under communist rule, developers did not own any rights to the intellectual property they created, and Pajitnov was never properly compensated for the work he did.
However, Pajitnov's work changed the gaming landscape forever, putting portables into the hands of adult casual gamers for the first time (This Nintendo advertisement featuring Tetris was targeted to executives - ironic given its Soviet origin).
Today, Tetris is arguably the most copied and pirated game in existence. It has not only become a part of the gaming culture in ways that no other game has, it paved the way for the fall of another curtain - the one between gamers and everyone else.
One can only wonder where Nintendo would be today if the company hadn't secured the rights to Tetris from the Soviet authorities.