“Have you ever experienced the Tetris effect?”

“I’ve heard it mentioned before. What exactly does it mean?”

“It’s what happens when you play Tetris for too long. The game continues in your head after you’ve quit. Blocks keep falling in your peripheral vision, and bursts of inner music prevent you from falling asleep.”

“Oh, I have! But that’s not even close to what I thought it meant.”

“What did you expect?”

“I figured it would be something about how whenever you try to arrange something into a perfect order, you’re forced to witness and accept that order coming undone.”

“That’s a pretty negative way to look at such a simple game.”

“Is it? I tend to think Tetris is about letting go. The blocks keep coming no matter what the player does. The end result is inevitable; a tower of imperfections too tall to manage, and the only way to earn points is to prevent it from growing at all- which ultimately proves an impossible task. There can be no victory besides surrender, as all that can be achieved is a Babelesque accumulation of meaningless colors and shapes.”

“Huh. I’ll have to think about that. But you’ve had the hallucinations before?”

“Yes, but I’m surprised that you think they’re hallucinations.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“At first, you said that the game continues in your head, and that make much more sense to me.”

“Yes, but, well, I didn’t mean it literally. How does that make more sense?”

“Because whenever you complete a row, and the blocks disappear, they don’t really go away- they accumulate within your memory. Tetris occupies your senses for as long as it can, and the more time you grant it to do so, the more blocks it can deposit inside your brain- hence, why you can still see them falling after you’ve stopped playing. This process allows the organism to propagate and grow.”

“The… organism?”

“The real game is played by humanity at large. Tetris is a virtual parasite that finds its way in through the eyes, and preys upon our need for perfection, our lust for victory, and our comfort in routine. By turning away and refusing to give in to these vices, on a long enough timescale, we can prevail- but it cannot be removed from any mind in which it has taken root.”

“I think you might be taking this a bit too seriously.”

“Don’t even get me started on Rubik’s cubes.” 

Every arcade cabinet contains something like life; some even have ghosts of their own.

The Tetris organism likely originated in the Sea of Null.

Tetris blocks fill up the brain faster while the body is in Hard Mode.