13-Year-Old May Be the First Person to ‘Beat’ Tetris

January 4, 2024

I can’t feel my fingers.

Willis Gibson, 13, after advancing so far in the original Nintendo game of Tetris that the screen froze – indicating he “beat” the puzzle-like game while playing on its original hardware.

Why It Matters: After nearly 40 minutes, Willis, playing from his bedroom in Stillwater, Oklahoma, reached Level 157 in which the game can no longer be played due to limitations in its original programming. The president of the Classic Tetris World Championship, Vince Clemente, explained the significance of Willis’ feat: “It’s never been done by a human before. It’s basically something that everyone thought was impossible until a couple of years ago.” Before Willis’ achievement, only artificial intelligence had reached this point in the game.

Willis – referred to as a Tetris prodigy “dedicated the record-setting win to his father, Adam Gibson, who died last month” (NPR).

Willis Gibson beats the game at the 38:30 minute mark.

Read More: Boy, 13, Is Believed to Be the First to ‘Beat’ Tetris (The New York Times)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas