Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I met Alexey Pajitnov! I met Alexey Pajitnov! =) It was just like meeting a rock star, only wayyy more geeky. ;) It wasn’t awesome Alexey himself who was geeky; moreso the huge herd o’ nerds who jumped up at the end of the seminar to get their GameBoys and Nintendo cartridges signed. (I only mock because I am envious. I have no GameBoy. Curses!)

This Fete des Nerds was all a part of GameCity, a video games fest held annually here in Nottingham. They showed a documentary made for Brit tv called “Tetris: From Russia with Love” and had a question and answer period with the game’s creator, the brilliant and lovely Mr. Alexey Pajitnov.
I wouldn’t have thought of myself as a gamer, really- at least not in recent years. But my borderline fanatical excitement at the possibility of meeting SeƱor Tetris totally made me rethink the role games have played in my life. It seems a good chunk of my youth was spent controller-in-hand… In front of the telly, chewing on an Atari 2600 joystick (my brother hated that), playing Frogger, PacMan, Pitfall… Games on the Commodore 64 that you had to load on the tape drive for 20 minutes before you could even start playing… We had an Odyssey for a while- I seem to remember something Pong-like on that one… Oregon Trail on the Apple at school, Super Mario on my friend Chris Duncan’s Nintendo… I’m pretty sure we played that one every day before we watched the MTV video countdown. =) Good times. =) And then came TETRIS. Game of all games. Surely the best computer game I have ever played. Simple. Addictive. Excellent music. =) I could play for hours at a time, and I remember when I used to go to bed and lie there and play it in my head for another hour before I fell asleep…
Almost 20 years after I first played it, Tetris is still my favourite game, and Alexey is my second favourite games designer. (Second after Gordon, of course! You can play Gordon's last game, Sproing, at Go play it. Go now. Go. It looks like this.) It was an honour to meet the man who helped me waste away countless hours of my trying teenage years. =) On behalf of all of us who have whittled away what could have been boring, productive days and years of our lives playing Tetris, I would like to say an official thank you to the man who changed the world with his game. =) Danke, Herr Pajitnov. (I don't know any Russian. German was as close as I could get.) Now I have to go. The game beckons...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Here is a picture of a highland cow that I didn't take. In fact, I haven't seen any yet, but I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity to see one (and maybe hug it?) while we're here in Scotland. =) We are currently at the home of Gordon's cousin Ella in Edinburgh, who is absolutely lovely, and who has broadband internet. =) It's heaven here- for both reasons! We've awoken to nice breakfasts and a hot kettle in the mornings, toured around in the afternoons, watched the rugby in the evenings, AND I get to update my blog. =) Fantastic. So far one of the highlights was seeing sheep that look like this! (I didn't take this picture, either, I'm afraid.) I really thought they were very tiny cows until we got closer! I have never seen splotchy sheeps before! =) Baaaaa! Tomorrow Gordon, his brother, and I head up to Perth to see his Auntie and then drive back down to the Lake District, where we're booked in at a lovely vegan B&B. =) Tuesday it's home to Notts and Wednesday back to the salt mines, but I hope someday to return to Scotland for a proper look around, because what I've seen so far has been beautiful! =) And so many cute sheepies! I hear there are even PINK ones! Definitely worth another visit if only to see the pink sheep! Baaaaa! =)