Category Archives: Damana Madden

If Tetris Has Taught Me Anything, It’s That Errors Pile Up and Accomplishments Disappear

Xippilli? Damana? Anonymous?

tetris02Dear Quote Investigator: I have spent hours playing the quasi-hypnotic computer game Tetris. The following astutely funny remark reveals the subversive lesson of the game:

If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

I have seen this statement tweeted and retweeted many times. Can you determine who first said it?

Quote Investigator: Tracing a recent expression like this is difficult because the timestamps listed on websites are easy to modify retroactively; hence, timestamps may be inaccurate. The website zoklet.net has a bulletin board system with a message timestamped “08-04-2011, 01:01 AM”. The month is listed first in this stamp, so the date is August 4, 2011. Someone using the handle xippilli posted the following: 1

If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.
: (

QI does not know if the above timestamp is accurate; nor does QI know the time zone of the stamp. The next piece of evidence has a timestamp that seems to be solid. On August 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM the twitter handle @damana tweeted the following: 2

If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.
1,212 Retweets
260 Favorites
11:31 AM – 4 Aug 11

This was the earliest tweet containing the quotation located by QI, and its popularity was indicated by the number of retweets. Note that the retweet number will change over time. Here is a link to the tweet in the twitter database.

The name Damana Madden is attached to the twitter handle @damana, and QI asked her via twitter about the origin of the expression. She forthrightly stated that she did not coin it: 3

I read it on one of the feeds whose RSS I subscribe to. No idea which.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading

Notes:

  1. Website zoklet.net, Bulletin Board message in archive, Path given at top of webpage: “Zoklet.net > Entertainment > Fragyard > The Official Zoklet Tetris Competition”, Subject of discussion: The Official Zoklet Tetris Competition, Handle given for message poster: xippilli, Timestamp of message: “08-04-2011, 01:01 AM” (Accessed zoklet.net on June 30, 2013) link
  2. Tweet, From: Mana @damana, Time: 11:31 AM Date: August 4, 2011, Text: If Tetris has taught me anything, it’s that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear. (Accessed on twitter.com on June 13 2013) link
  3. Twitter conversation between @quoteresearch and @damana, Date of conversation: June 5, 2013. (@quoteresearch is QI, Quote Investigator)