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One lesser known chapter of Tetris's history is that of creator Alexey's Pajitnov's original collaborators: Vladimir Pokhilko and Vadim Gerasimov. Vadim was a 16 year old hacker who ported the original Tetris game to the PC. He later went on to graduate from MIT and now works for Google.


Vladimir Pokhilko went on to start a software design company named AnimaTek. Not long after, the rights to Tetris reverted from the Soviet Union back to Pajitnov. Tetris was then channeled to The Tetris Company by way of entrepreneur Henk Rogers. Sadly, Pokhilko was the perpetrator in a tragic murder-suicide involving his family. The fact that Pokhilko was left out of the Tetris loop during this time makes it difficult to ignore how this may have possibly been a contributing factor.


On Reddit today, one of Pokhilko's past coworkers anonymously had this to say:


Well, this is a tough one to respond to, to be honest, I haven't thought about it for years. At least, I have tried not to.

I worked for Vladimir, knew his family, babysat Peter, and considered him a good friend and mentor. I had forgotten that he was 43. That seems young.

The end of his life had nothing to do with Tetris money, and probably had little to do with money in general.

Vladimir was a very smart very driven man. He spent every waking moment trying to make a great company, and somewhere in that drive was a dark temperment. He kept it at bay with his work, with yoga, with a constant schedule. I never knew him to have a moment that was unscheduled, and it was in this aspect of his life that we disagreed the most.

When I heard what had happened, I was working for another company. It was a shock, and still is. I knew he had his demons, but I never thought that they would take him so far over the edge.
As much as his life ended terribly, and that he felt compelled to end his families lives too, I remember playing nerf wars with him in the office cubicles. I remember him staying up with me and 8 other programmers while we crunched all night on a title. I remember him teaching me about vodka.

He was a friend who had gone somewhere I never knew he visited, and I wish I had known, if for no other reason than to try to bring him back. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Comments:
Comment by Danieru on September 3, 2016, 6:20 pm
Why did he commit the crime?
Comment by Maske on February 6, 2013, 8:12 am
Sorry for that lines are incomplete XD
Comment by Maske on February 6, 2013, 8:06 am
Since I was interested in the episode of human life woven by characters involved tetris, I wanted to know more of him. Than you, caffeine. Oh, even you have received no news about his whereabouts after 1990. >The other two programmers from the Dorodnitsyn Computer Center who are known to have helped Pajitnov are Mikhail Potyomkin and Mikhail Kulagin. Potyomkin helped Pajitnov stabilize the original game's operating speed. Wow, this is a surprise to me. It is not until you tell me that I know the existence of the other two programmers.
Comment by caffeine on February 5, 2013, 10:34 pm
Ah, thanks for pointing that out to me, Maske. Pavlovsky and Gerasimov are usually cited as the main collaborators with Pajitnov during Tetris's infancy. The two best sources for Tetris history, "Game Over" by David Sheff and the BBC documentary, unfortunately don't make any reference to Pavlovsky (from what I remember). Geramisov stated on his website that Pavlovsky moved to the UK in 1990. I'm not sure about his story after that point.(http://vadim.oversigma.com/Tetris.htm) The other two programmers from the Dorodnitsyn Computer Center who are known to have helped Pajitnov are Mikhail Potyomkin and Mikhail Kulagin. Potyomkin helped Pajitnov stabilize the original game's operating speed.
Comment by Maske on February 5, 2013, 7:33 pm
Do you have information on the whereabouts of Dmitry Pavlovsky, who was one of Pajitnov's collaborators?
Comment by XaeL on February 5, 2013, 4:11 pm
Obvious explanation: Henk had him murdered
Comment by Integration on February 5, 2013, 12:24 pm
Yay daily news! The occasion is sad though. When somebody murders his family, it's ofen because of financial concerns or because his wife betrayed him. LOL @ the one comment suspecting Pajitnov having murdered him. Pajitnov is a cutie teddy bear, no murder.

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