If there's one constant to his story, it's a penchant for hauling ass. Sheila Boughten, president of Tozai Games, gave me some insight regarding the psychology of Pajitnov's motor vehicle operation. Boughten entered the video game industry through the now-defunct Bullet-Proof Software, where her very first task was to coordinate with American and Russian immigration in the early 90s so that Pajitnov could move to the US and join the team at Bullet-Proof, which sponsored his work visa."Everyone drove like mad people," Boughten told me of her experience at the time in Moscow, riding white-knuckled with Pajitnov in his Soviet-era Fiat clone. "And Alexey was not excluded. He drove like a madman. I was fearful. I said, 'Alexey, I don't want to die in Russia. Be careful.'"
He drove like a madman.
By 1996, the same year that the Tetris rights, through a complicated legal process following the death of the Soviet Union, were finally given to Pajitnov, he had begun designing games for a pre-Xbox Microsoft.His routine at Microsoft remained "basically the same" as it had been in Soviet-era Russia. He'd roll up to the office each morning between 9 and 10 AM, and work until around 1:30 PM, when he'd take lunch. He'd call it a day around 10 or 11 PM."That's the way I got used to working," he told me, "and I continued for all my working life. It's kind of a lifestyle."
"I stop my work and play a game a little bit. Then I realize I need to finish my work."