- Pajitnov realized his game would be more fun if the computer code were translated into real-time graphics—that is, if the brackets delineating the “Tetris” pieces were replaced by the real, movable shapes they represented. A young hacker named Vadim Gerasimov set out to create a color version of “Tetris” that would play on IBM-compatible computers.
- Gerasimov was sixteen years old at the time and was still attending high school, but he was so far ahead of his peers that his teachers allowed him to drop in for classes a couple of times a semester. Raised by his mother, a nuclear physicist, Gerasimov had a revelation when he got his hands on a computer for the first time. “He saw the computer and forgot about the other world,” Alexey Pajitnov says.
- The wiry-haired Gerasimov, with enormous blue eyes behind thick-lensed glasses, was bean-thin and tall, with a slight stoop, and often wore the same shapeless gray wool sweater. Another programmer named Dmitri Pevlovsky introduced him to Pajitnov, who put the young boy to work. Gerasimov had a knack for finding glitches in programs, and had technical skills that neither Pevlovsky nor Pajitnov possessed. He had taught himself to program with Microsoft’s DOS operating system from the West. He knew the BASIC and PASCAL languages, and how to perform miscellaneous feats on computers, breaking supposedly unbreakable copy protections and ferreting out viruses. Computer Center scientists twice his age asked for his help on programs, occasionally slipping the boy a few rubles.
- Gerasimov worked with Pajitnov for two months to convert “Tetris” to work on an IBM-compatible computer. In the end, the “Tetris” pieces lit up in solid colors.
- Young Vadim Gerasimov left Russia too. At only twenty, he moved to Tokyo, where he studied Japanese and worked with a software developer, who then advertised that the codeveloper of “Tetris” was on his staff.
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