Although Apple TV’s Tetris movie appears to be an inspiring entrepreneurial take on the video game’s origins, subtle details in its trailer suggest that the film will also cover a real-life horror story behind the game. Based on the renowned puzzle game of the same name, Tetris promises to walk through all the drama and action that went into bringing the video game to the world. From depicting Soviet-era Russia as Tetris‘ birthplace to using Europe’s “The Final Countdown” as its soundtrack, Tetris‘ trailer makes many intriguing creative choices that hint at how epic the movie could potentially be.


In all of its creative choices, Tetris also adopts a unique visual style, emphasizing the video game’s iconic shapes, blocks, and overall aesthetic. While this could be a mere creative choice to make Tetris more visually appealing, there seems to be more to it than meets the eye. Apple TV’s Tetris trailer does not explicitly mention this but has several scenes suggesting that the movie will cover a real-life phenomenon, called the Tetris effect/Tetris syndrome.

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Tetris’ Trailer Hints At The Real-Life Tetris Syndrome

Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers in Apple TV's Tetris_

The Tetris syndrome (via Practical Psychology) is an umbrella term for a cognitive phenomenon where a person starts seeing repetitive patterns, geometric shapes, and colors in the real world after devoting a lot of time to a specific activity. As its name suggests, it is notably found in Tetris players who, after playing the game for prolonged periods, find themselves perceiving the real world as a layout of the game, its features, and even its rules. These hallucinations not only affect the thoughts and images projected by a conscious brain but may even start showing up in one’s dreams.

While the Apple TV+ movie‘s stylistic visuals alone hint that it will refer to the real-life Tetris syndrome at some point, one scene in Tetris‘ trailer seems to nail down this idea. In the trailer’s opening scenes, Taron Egerton’s character, Henk Rogers, obsessively talks about the game and even claims that he sees falling blocks in his dreams. Considering his passion and love for Tetris, Rogers will likely play a lot of it in his pursuit to acquire its rights, and it will not be long before Tetris‘ rules and patterns will start warping his perception of reality.

Why Tetris Syndrome Makes The Show’s Plot Even More Tense

Taron Egerton as Henk Rogers in Apple TV's Tetris

Involving Tetris syndrome in the Taron Egerton movie raises the stakes for his character by adding more psychological depth to the movie’s overarching narrative. This, in turn, allows the film to rise above the archetypes of typical biopic storylines and delve deeper into the cultural impact of gaming, especially that of ones like Tetris which can literally alter human reality and perception. Tetris‘ depiction of Henk Rogers’ legal battles for the game’s rights in the backdrop of Soviet tensions will be gripping enough. However, the Tetris syndrome will add more intangibles to his struggles that will further up the ante of the movie’s drama and action.

Other than adding narrative heft, even the visual implications of Tetris syndrome could dial up the movie’s drama. Visually highlighting how the Tetris syndrome gradually changes Rogers’ worldview will also allow the Apple TV+ original to create an immersive experience for audiences, where they can get a first-hand experience of the protagonist’s obsession with the game. This, as a result, could help viewers to see eye-to-eye with why Rogers considers Tetristhe most beautiful thing he has ever seen” and relate to the Soviet tensions and legal turmoils he faces to acquire rights for the game.

Tetris premieres on Apple TV+ on March 31.

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