Computer Algorithm Draws Pictures Of Video Game Characters In A Game Of Tetris

This is a video of a computer program created by Michael Birken that can play Tetris and create pictures of video game characters in the process. How? I'm glad you asked. And even gladder there's a quote to copy because I am BAD AT EXPLAINING THINGS. One time my nephew asked why the sky was blue and I told him, "Jesus, what color do you wish it was, brown?!"

The algorithm converts pixels from a source image into squares in the Tetris playfield, one row at a time from the bottom up. To generate an individual square, the algorithm assembles a structure consisting of a rectangular region fully supported by a single square protruding from the bottom. When the rectangular region is completed, its rows are cleared, leaving behind the protruding square.

During construction of a row, all of the squares produced by this method must be supported. The algorithm solves this problem by constructing a flat platform on top of the row with holes. The platform is a temporary structure and inserting the final piece removes it.

That make sense? Cool, maybe you can try to explain it to me sometime over drinks. I'm sure I'll change the subject immediately, but you could try. Now I'm thirsty. Tell you what -- let's have that drink now. "So about this Tetris algorithm--" Dude, I pooped my pants at work yesterday.

Hit the jump for the timelapse video of Link, Samus, Mario, a goomba and a bunch of others being drawn.

Thanks to Greg C, who draws video game characters the old fashioned way: in Microsoft Paint.

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• Great Video

• Bling Nye

After completing that, and realizing how many hours of your life you'd never get back, I imagine the only reaction could be, "Well...........fcuk."

Because I lost a few minutes of my life on that video, and I feel about the same.

• Prometheus

Why? The people who did this love video games, programming, and math. This is not a waste of time to them.

• Bling Nye

Reminds me of when I made my TI-86 into a magic 8 ball game. It was fun doing at the time, sure, but afterwards I couldn't believe I'd wasted that much time on it. And that was actually more 'useful' than this.

• Actually is not a waste of time, they had their brain working in algorithms that is way too better than watching tv or playing some dumb games

• Bling Nye

I can agree it is better than watching tv.

• ZerglingPack

How exactly is Mrs. Pacman floating...?

• That's wierd, when you complete a line in tetris everything that is on top should go down, again How exactly is Mrs. Pacman Floating?

• Brant_Alan

the beginning of Mrs. Pacman was on the same line as the top of whichever ghost character that was.