A 13-year-old gamer is thought to be the first person to ever beat Tetris – 40 years after it was invented.
“Oh my god … I’m gonna pass out!” Willis Gibson gasped on a Dec. 21 livestream as he realized he’d reached level 157, crashing the classic game that for years many only thought went to level 29.
“I can’t feel my fingers,” the astonished Oklahoma teen mumbled as he slumped back in his chair and appeared to almost hyperventilate at his unexpected accomplishment.
“When I started playing this game I never expected to ever crash the game, or beat it,” wrote Gibson, who started playing the classic game when he was 11, according to Popular Science.
It took the young teen less than 38 minutes to complete the game — after decades of other players attempting the same.
The Tetris Company confirmed that the young gamer was the first known to have reached the “monumental” level of the game that was developed in the Soviet Union in 1984 and hit the US market four years later
“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tetris this year, moments like these truly showcase the passion and dedication of Tetris enthusiasts,” Tetris CEO Maya Rogers told Popular Science of Gibson’s accomplishment.
“Congratulations to ‘blue scuti’ for achieving this extraordinary accomplishment, a feat that defies all preconceived limits of this legendary game,” she added, using Gibson’s YouTube handle.
“This monumental achievement not only breaks new ground in the realm of Tetris but also ignites our anticipation for its future. Here’s to the incredible journey ahead!”
Tetris sees players arranging falling blocks into horizontal lines while they fall at increasing speed.
For most of the game’s history, even the most dedicated players believed level 29 was the highest achievable goal, Popular Science noted.
At that level, the falling blocks started moving so fast that it became too difficult to keep moving pieces side-to-side with the controller.
In 2010, however, US gamer Thor Aackerlund broke through to level 30 using a new method known as “hypertapping” – helping others to push to new limits.
As of late December 2023, however, only artificial intelligence had achieved a true “kill screen” – or the result of a player reaching a level of the game that causes it to crash, the BBC said.