888: Heaven

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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If you've never had sex, this is what it feels like. Complete with the brief feeling of satisfaction, followed by ennui, followed by getting bored and trying to make it happen again.
Title text: If you've never had sex, this is what it feels like. Complete with the brief feeling of satisfaction, followed by ennui, followed by getting bored and trying to make it happen again.


This comic shows the popular video game Tetris, in which you use different shaped pieces to fill in lines to score points. The more lines you fill at a time it results in more points. Normally all pieces are made up of four small squares. This has also been the case for all the pieces at the bottom of the game, however, some parts of some blocks have been erased when a line has been deleted because it was full.

Heaven, in Tetris, is when you get the perfect piece that fills out all the empty space you have on the board. The next piece here is really odd, but it fits exactly the 18 empty spaces to make it possible to remove 6 lines in a row - compared to the four that is normally possible using the long brown piece of length 4. On top of the heavenly feeling of getting a piece that fits - the top score will also be smashed, as the player was at the moment only one point from reaching it!

The next piece, shown to the right, which will come after the special one, is much longer than the normally possible straight brown piece - a normal one can be seen at the bottom right of the game. This next piece seems to be six long as it has he same height as the strange piece - it also seems to be thinner than normal. Such a piece is of course easy to place - but it could also be a part of the joke in the title text.

An alternative view is that the next piece is actually the size of one full line (on a slightly smaller scale), so by rotating 90 degrees, the player can immediately complete another line.

The title text compares this experience with sex, complete with an orgasm and the feelings you get right after sex. After "the brief feeling of satisfaction" from the orgasm you are bored, ennui means a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest, but at the end you want more. The next piece in the game could resemble a cigarette. In the past people always had a smoke after sex.

A fan have made a modified version of the classic Tetris game, where at a certain frequency, a 'heaven' perfectly fitting block comes along. The game can be found on. http://www.gudmagazine.com/games/heaven/.

Also see comic 724: Hell, which presents an opposing situation in which the game is impossible to play.

Choosing to post a comic called Heaven as number 888 is not a coincidence - as in Christian numerology, the number 888 represents Jesus and in Chinese numerology it represents triple fortune.


[The panel shows the display of a Tetris game. A large oddly shaped piece is falling towards the board. The piece fits into the gaps exactly to complete six rows at once. The next piece is simply a very long brick. All the pieces at the bottom are made from possible tetris pieces.]
[Below the panel:]

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I also think that the comic number '888' is a reference to the chinese belief that eight is a lucky number, and '888' even more 01:56, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

In Chinese 8 (in some dialects) sounds like "being rich". 06:16, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Also I think the next piece after that is a longer than usual L block which basically fills the whole line (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The player is also about to smash the previous high score. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yes, he's only 1 POINT DOWN!!!!! SilverMagpie (talk) 22:20, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I have added all the above to the explain along with the idea that the long next block represents the cigarette people used to smoke after sex (in old films at least). Guess this is no so much in any longer... Kynde (talk) 10:34, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Should be trivia; doesn't explain the comic itself. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)