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Category: Review

Tetris: The Games People Play

It’s hard to imagine a world without Tetris. Since its initial creation in 1984, the game has achieved a sort of pop culture ubiquity rare among video games. Tetris feels like more than just the most popular video game ever created; it has become as iconic and well known as chess or Scrabble. Like those games, Tetris’s simplicity makes it easy to pick up, yet it takes patience to truly master. Of course, the game didn’t arrive out of thin air 30 years ago, it was created by Russian computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov, and in this new book, cartoonist Box Brown shows that the journey Tetris took from Moscow to your smartphone is just as entertaining and engaging as the game itself.

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Level Up – Review

There is a close relationship between comics and video games that is seldom utilized well. Although that is not the case regarding the comic Level Up. Level Up is a comic book written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Thien Pham. The book was originally published in 2011 by First Second Books and has just recently been released in a new paperback version. Gene Luen Yang is a New York Times best seller who has written several critically acclaimed books such as his American Born Chinese series. I’ll be honest that I hadn’t actually heard of Luen Yang until it was announced that he would be the writer for the New Super-Man series being released this year. So really this book was my first time experiencing his writing. I tend to enjoy going into a comic knowing very little about it, other than the basic summary of course. I think a story should grab at you and make you want to read it, which is exactly what happened with this book. I was pleasantly surprised as I flipped through it. I say flip through because that is exactly what it felt like.   The story itself is very simplistic and straight forward. Dennis Ouyang is an Asian-American kid who feels pressured by his parents expectations, but really only wishes to play his video games, and he struggles to find a medium between the two. I’m sure it seems odd that such a deep idea could be defined as simple, but Luen Yang keeps his…

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