Tetris: 13-year-old boy declared first to win iconic video game

Willis “Blue Scuti” Gibson, just 13 years old, reaches level 157 in Tetris, surpassing the limit set by the game’s own software.

Having accomplished an unprecedented feat, Willis GibsonA 13-year-old from Stillwater, Oklahoma, has become the first person to “beat” the classic video game. Tetris in the original Nintendo version, this achievement was previously attributed only to artificial intelligence.

After reaching level 157 in just 38 minutes during the live stream, Gibson experienced what is known as “screen of death” game, the point at which it becomes unplayable due to code limitations. “I’m going to faint, I can’t feel my fingers.”– said the teenager, testifying to the amazement and adrenaline of the moment.

This Tetris genius, also known as “Blue Scuti”, has been competing in the competitive Tetris world since 2021 and has won several regional tournaments, finishing third at the Classic Tetris World Championship in October 2023.

Their next tournament is scheduled for later this month in Waco, Texas. To date, Willis has accumulated approximately $3,000 in Tetris tournament prizes. His mother, Karen Coxhis high school math teacher supported his passion by providing him with a RetroN console and an old cathode ray tube television.

Alexey Pajitnov, Soviet software engineer who invented Tetris in 1984, and since his debut in Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Nintendo Game Boy handheld console, released in 1989, became one of the best-selling and most famous games.

For decades, the human limit for playing Tetris was considered to be level 29 due to the speed of falling blocks. However, a new generation of players has challenged and expanded these boundaries. Willis stated about Tetris that it is a game of “simplicity” and that “Easy to start, but very difficult to master”.

Achievements like Willis’s open up new horizons for Tetris players. For example, it caused the game to freeze by clearing one row of blocks. David MacDonaldvideo game content creator and professional Tetris player, noted New York Times that no one has ever reached such a trigger point, and now there is “A new stage or a new challenge”changing the focus of the current Tetris competition.

Despite the trend towards next-generation video games, Willis Gibson shows a penchant for classic jewels while rejecting modern gaming systems.

The competitive world of Tetris has traditionally focused on beating your opponent’s score rather than surviving the game. “Trying to force failure” is a different approach, it is an act of survival as Willis describes it, the main strategy of which is “play as carefully as possible”.

In recent years, elite players have begun using the “rolling technique,” which has changed the capabilities of competitive Tetris, forcing more players to try to “force fail” instead of scoring points.

The young man with sandy brown hair and black-framed glasses has expressed a preference for older games over modern ones, so it’s unlikely we’ll see him playing on the PlayStation 5 anytime soon.

At the same time, the gaming world continues to be surprised by the innate abilities Willis “Blue Scooty” Gibson, the boy who rose to a new category in video game history. His achievement is no longer just a personal best, but a milestone for all Tetris players who now strive to overcome the new limits he has set.

(Source: The New York Times, BBC and Popular Science.)

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