Chestris: It’s Tetris. On a Shirt.

tetrisIn commemoration of Tetris’s 30th Anniversary, developer Marc Kerger built an interactive tee shirt that lets the wearer play Tetris — right on their own body.

I always wanted a playable T-shirt, well now I made one myself,” wrote Kerger.

The Tetris-tee uses 128 LED lights, an Arduino Uno microcontroller, and two AA batteries. Buttons on the side of the playing board allow the player to move and rotate the tetrominoes (the Tetris blocks) before dropping them into the level. It can even be flashed to play other games, too, besides Tetris.

Unfortunately, the Tetris-shirt cannot play the game’s iconic music.

“The playable Tetris shirt is definitely a cool idea! It’s the type of out of the box promoting that we support. I don’t know if we will see a technology based shirt for the masses, as this seems to be just a small release to commemorate 30 years. We are seeing a push for originality and stand out shirts for promotions, for example, we can print shirts with glow in the dark ink, and scratch and sniff ink.” says Elise Harding, Owner at Tee Compressed.

Of course, this does raise a couple questions. Firstly, how exactly can you play it? Do you have to look down and hope for the best, or should you stand in front of a mirror and have a go?

Secondly, will it become available for consumer audiences? There are probably scores of people out there who’d love to get their hands on such a neat, interactive novelty, but right now it seems that the only way to get one is to build yourself, as Kerger has. If it does escape the realm of DIY-dom and become available to consumers, will they perhaps give the “device” a new name? Maybe, ?Chestris?

As for an official celebration, the Tetris Company and Ubisoft announced back in January that Tetris would be taking the new generation of consoles by storm this summer for its 30th anniversary. Blue Planet Software’s Tetris Ultimate, a multi-mode version of the classic puzzle game, will launch on PlayStation Vita in the fall.