#289 Talking Tetris


How did the billion dollar video game Tetris become a global addiction? According to Dan Ackermanauthor of “The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotized the World,” the history of Tetris is a start up story, which involves the Russia-US relations before the fall of the Soviet Union. Dan's day job is a Section Editor/Reviews - PCs & Laptops at CNET and can be seen regularly on CBS This Morning and other news outlets, so we also pump him about Apple's iPhone 7 and the exploding Samsung phone!

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The story of Tetris involves protagonist Henk Rogers, a Dutch immigrant to the US who hacked his elite high school’s computer, before going to college in Hawaii and then moving to Japan. Rogers created the Japanese role-playing game industry (think “Dungeons and Dragons”) and scored a big hit called “The Black Onyx”. At the same time, Alexy Pajitnov was in the USSR and created Tetris, but ended up giving it away because there was no way to make money on it. Once the Russian government realized that Westerners were willing to pay up for the distribution of the game, the chase was ON!


The Census Bureau said Americans finally got a raise last year after eight years of stagnating incomes. In the 2015 Poverty and Income Report, median (the point where half of households fall below and half are above) income rose 5.2 percent in 2015 to $56,516 and picked up in all regions of the US, across all age groups, and for most ethnic and racial groups. Even with the solid gain, income (adjusted for inflation) remains below the median of $57,423 in 2007, just before the Great Recession began and is still 2.4 percent below the peak it reached in 1999, when it was $57,909.

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