Lessons from the Tetris NinjasPosted: 11 November 2012
Look at this!
And here’s a trailer for Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, a documentary about the Classic Tetris World Championship.
I love the enthusiasm of these guys. Luke & Michael want to hang out with people who are as excited by improvisation as they are by the descent of colourful boxy shapes. So … what can we aspiring improvisers learn from Tetris ninjas?
- Keep practising! To get this good requires many, many hours of patient work.
- Stop thinking! It’s clearly impossible to place all these shapes while thinking about where they go and how to put them there. Learn to trust your fingers.
- Get yourself in trouble! The only really exciting parts of these games of Tetris, for the player and the spectator, are the appalling gutters that emerge down the right-hand side of the screen, awaiting blessed redemption from a Christ-like thin piece. Without trouble, there is no excitement.
- Start at Level 18! Why bore everyone by easing into a performance with the simplest game possible?
- Embrace failure! It is impossible to win at Tetris. Dying is a Beckettian inevitability. The sooner you realise you can never truly succeed as an improviser, only fail with greater or lesser glory, the better.