Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters Movie Review

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Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters Movie Review


Ecstasy is a trance-like emotion that many consider to be an altered state of consciousness. Zoning in on one particular object and blocking out everything else that surrounds you. An unbreakable focus unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. This is a state that many gamers can relate with, especially those that have had the Tetris bug crawl under their skin.

Last week, I realized that I wasn’t the only person to experience the “Tetris Effect.” After a brief obsession with Tetris a few years back, sometimes my mind would continue to play Tetris without needing to look at the game. Random pieces would drop and I had to sort through them, much like in a real game of Tetris. I was able to spin the pieces, place them, and most importantly, arrange a well to clear four lines at once, a Tetris. Of course, I discovered this after watching the awesome Tetris documentary, Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, released in 2011, is a documentary about the best Tetris players from the United States. As with most documentaries, Ecstasy of Order focused heavily on these characters, all of which had varying, and interesting personalities. Of course, with those personalities came endearing quirks, of which I’m sure some of us also have. Why seek out the best Tetris players in the United States? To make them compete in the first ever 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship.


So, we get to meet a lot of characters and witness not only their personalities, but their history with NES Tetris, and their Tetris strategies. One particular character was only using one button to spin the tetriminos, a handicap that didn’t affect her ability to compete against the best classic Tetris players. One of these characters can be considered a part of the Nintendo World Championships lore; of course, I’m talking about Thor Aackerlund.

Seeing all these players commune to Los Angeles to compete in the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship was a fantastic journey. Watching them compete once they got there was even better. I genuinely wanted each one of these Tetris players to win the tournament, to claim the title of Tetris World Champion.

It’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. In fact, I feel it rivals The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters as the best gaming documentary ever filmed. I can easily recommend this film to anyone looking to learn more about Tetris. The film – in digital or DVD format – can be purchased from the movie’s official website.

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  • Eric Weichhart

    Well, Tetris is one of the most addicting games of the world!
    I’m played in a lot of platforms (long list, seriously), and now I’m playing on my 3DS (I bought Tetris axis)

    • MF_Parko

      My favourite version of Tetris is Tetris DS! I’m also quite fond of the NES and Game Boy versions.

      • Goatllama

        Tetris DS is wonderful. I’d recommend Tetris/Dr. Mario for the SNES as well. Very nice installment.

        • MF_Parko

          That is a game I definitely need to check out. Will keep an eye out for it at the flea market.