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Oklahoma Wunderkind “Beats” Tetris

Oklahoma Wunderkind Willis Gibson becomes the first known person to “beat” Tetris. (PICTURE: Willis Gibson at the 2023 Classic Tetris World Championship. PHOTO: COURTESY OF: David “aGameScout” McDonald)

Donald Cherry



Oklahoma Wunderkind “Beats” Tetris. A 13-year-old boy set a world record by becoming the first known person to beat 1988’s Tetris video game for the original Nintendo.

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In certain video games, the game typically outperforms the player, not vice versa.


However, Willis Gibson accomplished something unprecedented while live streaming. Thirty-four years after Tetris’ initial release, Gibson eventually made so much progress that the game itself was unable to match him. He got to the infamous “kill screen” at level 157, which is where the game’s original programming breaks due to a glitch in the game’s code and renders the game unplayable. He needed less than thirty-nine minutes.

Tetris “Beat”

In a YouTube video, Gibson, also known as “Blue Scuti”, reached a record high of level 157, causing the game to crash as Tetris stacks fall, eventually freezing and collapsing in triumph – a feat previously only achieved by AI.

VIDEO: The First Time Somebody Has Ever “Beat” Tetris. VIDEO: COURTESY OF: YOUTUBE VIA Blue Scuti. (dATED JanUARY 1, 2024)

“What happens is you get so far that programmers that made the game, they never expected you to make it that far. And so the game starts breaking down and eventually it just stops,” said Gibson.

How it Started?

At 11-years-old Willis Gibson discovered Tetris while browsing the web, a game that has significantly impacted his life since its inception. He competes in national competitions like the Classic Tetris World Championship, which attracts around 10,000 attendees annually.


“It just caught my attention, and that’s sort of how I got into it,” Gibson said. “It’s mainly a hobby for me.”

His mom, Karin Cox, said, “A hobby that won you some stuff.”

What is Tetris?

Tetris is a popular tile-matching puzzle video game that was created by Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian game designer, in 1984. The game’s name “Tetris” is derived from the Greek numerical prefix “tetra-” (meaning “four”), as all of the game’s pieces, known as Tetriminos, consist of four segments.

For the uninitiated, players manipulate falling Tetriminos—geometric shapes made up of four square blocks—as they descend from the top of the playing field to the bottom. The objective is to create horizontal lines with the blocks without any gaps. Following the completion of a line, any blocks above the line will fall down to fill the empty space. The game continues with increasing speed and complexity as players progress, challenging them to think quickly and strategically to keep the playing field clear.

Numerous platforms have released Tetris over the years, including arcade machines, video game consoles, computers, and mobile devices. Its addictive gameplay, simplicity, and enduring appeal have made Tetris one of the most recognizable and beloved video games of all time, influencing many subsequent puzzle games and popular culture.


In 2024, Tetris, the world’s third most popular video game, will celebrate its 40th anniversary, attracting millions of fans worldwide.

A Bright Future

Although he doesn’t know what the future holds, he knows one thing for sure: He won’t stop playing Tetris.

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