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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

A 13-year-old becomes the first person to beat Tetris

Since the 1980s, Tetris, the video game, has not gone out of circulation

Mathures Paul Published 05.01.24, 12:22 PM
Tetris was developed by Alexey Pajitnov in the USSR in the mid-1980s

Tetris was developed by Alexey Pajitnov in the USSR in the mid-1980s Picture: Nintendo

Since the 1980s, Tetris, the video game, has not gone out of circulation. A 13-year-old in Oklahoma has reportedly become the first person ever to beat Tetris since the game’s release in 1985.

Willis Gibson kept playing the game until the score read “999999” and then the screen froze. When the game was developed, nobody was expected to reach that point. To beat the game, a player has to achieve a score and level that overloads the memory bank.

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Willis Gibson, 13, is from Oklahoma. He has dedicated his win to his late father, Adam, who died last month

Willis Gibson, 13, is from Oklahoma. He has dedicated his win to his late father, Adam, who died last month Picture: David 'aGameScout' McDonald

Tetris was designed by Alexey Pajitnov behind the Iron Curtain in 1984 (released by Nintendo Entertainment System four years later) while working for the old Soviet Academy of Science in Moscow. The game had the potential to become a success globally. In the USSR, some considered it a waste of time, like the classic Windows game, Minesweeper, which many offices uninstalled to keep employees productive. People like Pajitnov weren’t allowed by the state to sell games, so any deal that was done benefitted the country and Elektronorgtechnica (ELORG) to an extent. Pajitnov was made to sit around during dealings to act as the public face of his creation.

In a video (posted online) documenting his achievement, the teenager, known as Blue Scuti online, plays for roughly 38 minutes and reaches level 157 before saying: “Oh, I missed it.” He thought the game was over and he couldn’t go any further. But he had actually defeated the Nintendo game.

Willis has played Tetris competitively since 2021. His mother Karin Cox bought her son a version of a Nintendo console called a RetroN from a pawnshop, as well as an old cathode-ray tube television to help him get started. Willis has dedicated his win to his late father, Adam, who died last month.

According to the Tetris Company, over 520 million units of Tetris have been sold worldwide, making it one of the top-selling games of all time. If you are interested in the game, watch the Apple TV+ film, Tetris.

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