Tetris beat

A 13 year old has become the first person to beat Tetris

By Olivia Richman


Jan 4, 2024

Reading time: 2 min

A 13-year-old has become the first gamer to ever beat Tetris.

Tetris is one of the most classic video games in history. It is a simple game where you must use fast thinking and hand-eye coordination to strategically flip and fit blocks together. The game has been around for 34 years and was never “beaten” until now.

Willis Gibson, a 13-year-old from Oklahoma, is the first person to ever beat the original Nintendo version of Tetris, reaching level 157. At this level, he was met with a “kill screen,” which means this is as far as the programming allows. In other words, programmers didn’t believe anyone would get this far.

The moment was quite intense for Gibson. Captured on camera, you can hear him whispering for the game to crash as it becomes increasingly fast. To his relief and shock, the game eventually collapses, and a score of 999,999 can be seen on screen. Gibson said that his actual final score was 6.8 million, a score only AI has reached before him.

The intensity can be felt just by watching how fast the blocks are falling at this stage of the game. The speed at which he has to think and move the blocks is unheard of, making this quite the feat.

“I’m gonna pass out,” he can be heard saying. “I can’t feel my fingers.”

Gibson has been playing in Tetris tournaments since 2021 and came in third at the Classic Tetris World Championship this October. He was the youngest competitor.

Unfortunately, not everyone was impressed.

News anchor under fire for mocking Tetris champion

In classic “touch grass” fashion, a news anchor urged Gibson to “go outside” after covering the Tetris world record. She went on to say that beating Tetris is “not a life goal,” insinuating that video games and other digital feats are not impressive or worth pursuing.

This didn’t sit right with the gaming community, of course.

A lot of people called out the news anchor for being “out of touch” and attempting to undermine his accomplishment with old-school views. Many felt she was unable to comprehend the significance of anything digital and called her “uninformed.” Someone called her “narrow-minded.” It’s safe to say her comments were met with anger.


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