Skip to content

NERD MOMENT: Gimme the Algorithm and No One Gets Hurt

July 7, 2013

Anyone who knows me, knows I am obsessed with Tetris. I have at least 3 Tetris t-shirts, played hours, was writing about the effects of Tetris on the brain, I’ve made Tetris Poptarts and had my very own Tetris Apprentice. I have a problem, I know.

So believe me when I say that when my friend posted this link about an algorithm that manipulates Tetris patterns to create 8-bit images on the screen, I lost my mind. LOST IT. The youtube video description box reads:

By rotating, positioning and dropping a predetermined sequence of pieces, the Tetris Printer Algorithm exploits the mechanics of Tetris to generate arbitrary bitmap images.

Arbitrary my ass! This images are classic signifiers of my childhood. It’s glorious! But one question remained: what is this algorithm and how can I get my hands on it?

And then there was this:


This .gif pretty much explains the basic concept behind the badass video. When playing Tetris regularly, one is attempting to place the pieces, devoid of gaps to achieve a line. Here the T piece is placed in the centre in it’s original position and the pieces following are rotated in preparation for elimination (via a triple) and once those pieces disappear, the lone yellow dot from the bottom of the T piece remains. This dot is essentially a dot of “ink” in the Tetris printer. By imposing an algorithm to create systematic “dots”, much like an jet-lazer printer, one can map out the image of his or her choosing.


algorithmSO DOPE!

For more info about the actual algorithm, check out the amazing explaination (and more .gifs!) HERE from
Ok, my nerd is showing, I’m putting it away now. For the children’s sake.

Check out previous Nerd Moments:

Now You’re Playing With Power
TTC Got Pixelated
Cyber Love
Paper, Scissors, Lizards, Spock

OMG, They killed Spawn
Tetris Poptarts
Monday Night Duck Hunt
Gameboy Patent 

Over and out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: