"I am the man who arranges the blocks": Marc Kerger models his playable Tetris T-shirt

Since this is the 30th anniversary of Tetris, the remarkably durable and deceptively simple video game created by Russsia’s Alexey Pajitnov during the final, still-tense phase of the Cold War, it is only natural to expect people in the tech world to pay tribute to the landmark Soviet-born, tile-based puzzler in a variety of media. One might not, however, expect such a tribute to arrive in the form of a white cotton T-shirt which serves as an ungainly yet eminently functional version of the game itself. This was precisely the dream of programmer Marc Kerger. “I always wanted a playable [Tetris] T-shirt,” he writes. “[N]ow I made one myself.” Kerger created the shirt using a micro controller board called an Arduino Uno, which retails for about $25. The garment, which employs 128 individual LEDs, requires a mere two AA batteries. His inspiration, he says, was the Pumpktris, a similarly playable incarnation of the game in jack-o’-lantern form which appeared in 2012. Since Kerger’s own demonstration video is silent, the programmer recommends that viewers let this clip “run in the background as music.” The video is uneasily mesmerizing on its own, however, as Kerger happily jabs and strokes various spots on his abdomen in order to get the falling blocks to align the way he desires.