LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 13-year-old American is the first person to ever beat Tetris, forcing the more than three-decade-old classic Nintendo video game into a “kill screen.”
Willis Gibson, who goes by the streamer name Blue Scuti, said “Please crash” as he arranged the puzzle pieces cascading down the screen and moments later got his wish when the game froze, leading him to repeatedly exclaim “Oh my God!” in a video uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 2.
Gibson broke world records for the overall score, level achieved and total numbers of lines, according 404 Media.
“This is unbelievable,” Vince Clemente, CEO of Classic Tetris World Championship, told Reuters.
“Developers didn’t think anyone would ever make it that far and now the game has officially been beaten by a human being.”
Previously, only an artificial intelligence computer program had beaten Tetris, Clemente said.
Willis employs a “rolling” controller technique popularized in 2021 that allows a player to manipulate the directional pad, or D-pad, at least 20 times per second to move the blocks, far more than the previously popular “hyper tapping” method, 404 Media said.
Tetris, which was first released in 1984 and became a near-immediate worldwide sensation, challenges players to rotate and conjoin seven different falling block shapes.
Created by Alexey Pajitnov at the Moscow Academy of Science during the height of the Cold War, and developed as a business by gaming entrepreneur Henk Rogers, Tetris has shown remarkable staying power, spanning generations.
It is the best selling video game of all time with 520 million copies sold, according to The Tetris Company.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Jamie Freed)