Watch a 13-year-old boy become the first person ever to beat Tetris
The classic 80s video game was considered unbeatable…until now.
Few video games are as compelling and addictive as Tetris. Nor are other games, even the most difficult ones, literally impossible to beat.
The task behind Tetris is simple: rotate the falling blocks to fit the puzzle. But as those pieces fall at a faster and faster rate, at some point even the most skilled player becomes outmatched. In fact, no player (other than an AI bot) has been known to ever actually beat the game.
Thirteen-year-old Willis Gibson, better known as “Blue Scuti” when he’s gaming, was about 39 minutes into a Tetris competition, rotating blocks at lightning speed, when he achieved a “True Killscreen,” signaling the game couldn’t keep up and crashed.
In other words, Gibson did the impossible. The 34-year-old old game was finally beat…by a teen.
As soon as it happened, the young gamer threw up his gloves in shock and screamed, “Oh my god!” nearly hyperventilating with excitement.
“I can’t feel my fingers,” he said in the live broadcast of the game.
According to 404 Media, Gibson’s history-breaking success is thanks in part to a revolutionary new technique that became popular in 2021 called “rolling,” where he holds the controller in a way that allows him to push the D-pad up to 20 times per second. This method surpasses the “hyper tapping method,” another well known controller technique among Tetris players.
In an interview following his historic win, Gibson dedicated the game to his father, Adam Gibson, who died Dec. 14, 2023. But his mom was there to give him the ultimate “I have no idea what any of this means but it’s important to you so I’m proud” high-five.
Gibson's remarkable feat of both beating a computer game and outplaying AI stands as a reassurance in the lasting potential of the human mind as discourse about artificial intelligence makes it appear obsolete. Even in the digital age, humans constantly strive to learn, adapt, evolve and push the limits. And they succeed. Suddenly a simple game has a much more profound meaning.