It is believed that a 13-year-old boy was the first to defeat the unbeatable game: Tetris

A 13-year-old boy from Oklahoma seems to have finally achieved the almost impossible: beat Tetris.

Willis Gibson is believed to be the first human player to reach level 157 of the classic video game almost 40 years after its release.

“I’m going to pass out, I can’t feel my fingers,” Gibson said after his feat caused the game to crash into a video posted on YouTube on Tuesday.

“When I started playing this game, I never expected the game to crash or overrun,” Gibson wrote in the video description.

Gibson’s viral 38-minute gameplay video, posted under his username “Blue Scuti,” is the latest surge in nostalgia for the addictive and long-lasting game created by a Soviet engineer in 1984 and popularized on the Nintendo Entertainment System.


To date, more than 200 official Tetris variants have been released on at least 70 systems, a world record according to Guinness World Records. The mobile version developed by Electronic Arts and released in 2006 has been sold 100 million times, making it the third best-selling video game of all time, according to a Hewlett Packard Report last year.

The creator himself has said that he was instantly hooked after creating the game.

“I couldn’t help but play this prototype version, because it was so addictive putting the shapes together,” Alexey Pajitnov told CNN in 2019.

After its creation, Tetris spread rapidly and has staying power, so enduring that the story of its Cold War-era inception was turned into a movie for Apple TV+ in March.

“It hooked us almost in a primitive state,” said Victor Lucas, a games expert behind the television series Electric Playground. “Frankly, it transcends video games, like checkers or chess. It’s just one of those Juggernaut gaming experiences that any human being can understand immediately and consume forever.”

The game is simple: manipulate and join blocks that fall in different ways to create solid rows. As the level goes up, the blocks fall faster.

While other video games today offer plots, hundreds of characters, cinema-like visuals and even live concerts by Travis Scott, some experts say Tetris’ simplicity is what has kept it popular for decades.

Although Tetris has remained the same throughout the decades, the way the game is played has evolved. Until 2011, players believed that level 29 was the highest possible because that level featured the fastest speed in the game.

“It’s so well designed and so engaging for so many generations of gamers that people are literally discovering new feats to accomplish, scores to beat, and challenges to overcome,” video game expert and consultant Scott Steinberg told CNN. “It constantly presents a host of new challenges that even teachers find difficult to address.”

Tetris’ staying power stems from both the game’s simplicity and its difficulty.

Once that level 29 barrier was broken, players began reaching higher and higher levels in tournaments like the Classic Tetris World Championship with techniques including “hypertapping” and “rolling.”

Gibson finished third at the 2023 world championship. And while Gibson is a record-breaking human player, a Tetris-playing AI reached level 236 in 2021 by manipulating the game’s parameters.

Even in an age where some video games “cost as much and look as good as many Hollywood movies,” there is still something to be said for a game that is simple, elegant, incredibly accessible, and fun for gamers of any age or age. . background,” Scott Steinberg told CNN. “Sometimes simpler is better and the best games really stand the test of time.”

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