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Hawaii-based gamer offers free Tetris


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POSTED: Sunday, March 29, 2009

Job cutting in every industry makes this a bad time to play video games on company time, but, hey, it was for work. Honest.

And it was only two games. For real.

Hawaii-based Tetris Online Inc. has unveiled Tetris Friends Online Games.

It is currently in beta testing, but it is for real.

Tetris Online has developed and published Tetris titles for the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, while related company Blue Planet Software has worked with companies to develop Tetris games for mobile devices.

For Tetris Friends, however, there is no need to purchase a console for hundreds of dollars and spend more money buying games on disc or via download, or on additional controllers or other paraphernalia.

One also needn't spend a few to several dollars to download the game onto your mobile phone; it is right there on the World Wide Web — free, providing you already have a computer with an Internet connection.

“;We are proud to offer fans of Tetris unlimited access to America's favorite casual game on Tetris Friends Online Games,”; said Minoru Arakawa, president and chief executive officer of Tetris Online, in a statement.

Players register with an e-mail address, screen name and password, and have the option of keeping one's date of birth from being displayed.

There are six versions of Tetris to be played on the site at the moment, two of which pit you against other online players.

Given Tetris' worldwide popularity over the past 25 years — yes, 25 years — there is bound to be somebody else playing the game no matter the time of day.

“;Our goal is to continue to expand Tetris Friends Online Games over time with additional games and community features to become the premiere social gaming network on the Web,”; Arakawa said.

Ding, ding, ding!

Social networking rears its head on the gaming level, though gaming and social networking are not exactly new to each other.

World of Warcraft is a ... “;M-M-O-R-P-G,”; your columnist's daughter said, finishing the sentence for her noob of a mother. (Noob is the new way to say “;newbie,”; for fellow noobs out there.)

It stands for “;massively multiplayer online role playing game,”; she helpfully explained.

Old-timers also remember online game-play from when the Internet was in its infancy — it was text-based back then.

Beyond advertising on the Tetris Friends site, which exists, it was unclear how the company plans to further monetize the site, as officials could not be reached.

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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).