The stakes are high in this particular game of Tetris, as the video shows.

Video: Climate Change Explained as a Global Game of Tetris, With No Do-Overs


As the year draws to a close, it’s worth noting 2014 as the 30th anniversary of the game Tetris, created in 1984 by Russian computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov.

Today it is one of the most widely played electronic games of all time, according to the website devoted to all things Tetris. More than that, its dynamics can be used to explain, of all things, climate change.

In this TED-Ed video, educator Joss Fong explains how climate change is like a giant game of Tetris.

“This game of Tetris is called the carbon cycle, and it’s the engine of life on Earth,” she says in the video, accompanied by animation from Provincia Studio.

This global Tetris game, of course, cannot be done over once it’s lost. For anyone having trouble understanding—or explaining—the cycles that are being disrupted mostly by human activity, check out the video, highlighted last April by Gizmodo and Grist.

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