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Human Tetris: A Game and a Half!

Did Mughal emperors or their European counterparts inspire Guillame Reymond, the Swiss creative genius, to put up his fourth human video game clip Tetris on YouTube, ponders Sachin Kalbag.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2008 04:19 IST
Sachin Kalbag
Sachin Kalbag
Hindustan Times

A casual student of the Mughal empire would know that the guys who sat on the famed Peacock Throne never did things on a small scale — their forts were huge, their moats were mini-forests with several wild animals, even their tombs were built on a grand scale. So, then, what would prevent them from creating a chess board on a scale that would put Cecil B De Mille to shame?

Nothing, really, because emperors ranging from Humayun to Aurangzeb often used human chess pieces to play the regal game. Their European counterparts would do more or less the same.Was this the inspiration for Guillame Reymond, the Swiss creative genius who heads the NOT-so-NOISY agency, to put up his fourth human video game clip on YouTube? We don't know, but Reymond chose Tetris, the enormously addictive video game of the 1980s (and still played in various forms on the PC), to be his fourth human video game as part of his Game Over project.

It may have been excruciatingly tedious to get 88 "actors" to move like the falling blocks in an actual Tetris game for six hours to get a two-minute video, but as some famed director once pointed out, "The only boring thing about a movie is that you have to make it."

Reymond, who used a theatre to be his PC screen, and the actors to be his blocks, shot about 1000 pictures to get a final animation product.

He of course edited out, just as the filmmaker mentioned above, boring details such as their movement from one row to the other. The resulting two-minute, 38-second video is not a masterpiece of human achievement, but surely, it begs the question, "Why would someone do this?"

Add to this the fact that Reymond has been doing it for other video games as well such as Pong, Space Invaders and Pole Position, and you might think he is a bit wonky in that area of the body called the brain. But then, almost a million people who have watched the video so far, don't think so. And who are we to argue with those millon?