Oh, Tetris.  You were so cute when you were young.Well, now this once-wildly-popular game has turned 30 and gone through some visual makeovers.  But the addictive effects of the game continue to enthrall.

Of course, the Tetris you're familiar with likely isn't the original one.  The initial version was built to be played on the Elektronica 60: This early Russian computer, designed by Soviet artificial intelligence researcher Alexey Pajitnov (ah-LEX-ee Pahj-eet-nahv), came to market with 16 bits, no graphics.  Imagine having fun with that.

Nonetheless, Pajitnov writes in Britain's Guardian newspaper that he and others caught the gaming bug early and often, indicating that it took up time that was supposed to be spent working.  He says, "I pretended I was debugging my program, but in truth I just couldn't stop playing it. When other people tried it, they couldn't either."

Nowadays, Tetris has gets downloaded hundreds of millions of times onto smartphones, and on the Web, with versions on Facebook and elsewhere.  The game hasn't lost any of its popularity, yet it hasn't changed much at all since its release 30 years ago, and after having gone through dozens of titles.  And the official Tetris site has links to a number of free versions  if you don't already have one installed.

Source: NBC News