Tetris has never been beaten by a human (Credit: YouTube/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The classic version of Tetris for Nintendo, released in 1985, has achieved remarkable success, with over 520 million copies sold worldwide. The game's objective is to stop the accumulation of falling geometric shapes by rotating and placing them into straight lines. In theory, the game can go on forever since there is no end screen. However, the accelerating pace of the falling blocks causes players to make mistakes, and the game always wins.

But 35 years after its release, 13-year-old Willis Gibson has proven that it is possible to beat Tetris. On December 21, 2023, Gibson advanced so far in the game that he "broke" it. At level 157, Tetris just gave up and froze. Even more impressive, it took the young gamer, who goes by the name "Blue Scuti," just 38 minutes to achieve the feat. Before this, Tetris had only lost to computer AI programs.

"What happens is you get so far that the 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," Gibson explained.

The 13-year-old's victory even caught the attention of the game's maker. "Congratulations to 'Blue Scuti' for achieving this extraordinary accomplishment, a feat that defies all preconceived limits of this legendary game," Tetris CEO Maya Rogers said in a statement.

Gibson began playing Tetris at age 11 and swiftly became a top competitive player. In October 2023, the young prodigy placed third in the Classic Tetris World Championship. While the latest win is one for the record books, the 13-year-old is not resting on his laurels. He is busy practicing for his next tournament.

Resources: theguardian.com, NPR.org, 404media.com