• | 4:30 pm

13-year-old ‘Blue Scuti’ becomes first human to ‘beat’ Tetris

US teen pushes game to the edge, smashing record while advancing in the legendary Nintendo version before the inevitable crash

13-year-old ‘Blue Scuti’ becomes first human to ‘beat’ Tetris
[Source photo: Twitter]

Thirteen-year-old gamer Willis Gibson, known online as ‘Blue Scuti’, has achieved a feat that was once deemed impossible: beat the “unbeatable” falling-block game Tetris.

Tetris, unlike most games, doesn’t have a traditional ending. Instead, it ramps up difficulty infinitely, until the game itself crashes under the player’s relentless onslaught.

Gibson advanced so far in the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version that he crashed the game, becoming the first recorded player to officially beat Tetris.

Previously, only sophisticated AI programs could achieve this “kill screen,” showcasing near-instantaneous reflexes and flawless decision-making beyond human capabilities.

Gibson, however, proved otherwise. On 21 December, he streamed a mind-boggling 40-minute Tetris session, pushing the game to its limits with ever-increasing speed and precision.

In the process, he smashed world records for high score, lines cleared, and the highest level reached, before the inevitable crash.

“I’m going to pass out,” Gibson huffed as the game froze and the realization of his feat dawned on him.

Tetris, the deceptively simple puzzle game of falling blocks and lines of four squares, holds a unique place in gaming history.

In 1984, Alexey Pajitnov, a young Soviet software engineer, created Tetris. Inspired by childhood pentomino puzzles, he envisioned a game where blocks of four squares, called tetrominoes, descended and players fit them together to clear lines.

The name? A playful blend of “tetra” (Greek for four) and Pajitnov’s favorite sport, tennis.

Initially confined to local computers, Tetris spread like wildfire through the Soviet bloc. Its elegance lay in its accessibility – easy to learn, endlessly challenging, and captivatingly addictive.

The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for Tetris’s global conquest. Nintendo’s Game Boy version, bundled with the console at launch, propelled the game into millions of homes, solidifying its status as a cultural phenomenon.

But Tetris’s journey wasn’t without its twists and turns. Legal battles continued, ownership changed hands, and countless variations emerged. Yet, the core gameplay remained timeless and classic.

Now, 34 years after this version’s release, Gibson has achieved worldwide fame by becoming the first human player to beat the game. He previously finished third in the 2023 Classic Tetris World Championship.

Back in 2021, an AI program designed to play Tetris reached a staggering level 236 – far beyond the humanly achievable level.

This was accomplished by manipulating the game’s parameters, allowing the AI to perceive and react to the falling tetrominoes with near-instantaneous precision.


Shireen Khan is a Senior Correspondent at Press Insider. She covers lifestyle, culture, and health. More

More Top Stories: