Boy vs Tetris | God's World News
Boy vs Tetris
Take Apart SMART!
Posted: March 01, 2024
  • 1 Tetris k
    Willis Gibson becomes the first person to beat Tetris. (Willis Gibson via AP)
  • 2 Tetris
    Willis dedicated the victory to his father. (Willis Gibson via AP)
  • 3 Tetris
    A man plays the original Nintendo Entertainment System version of Tetris. (AP/Richard Drew)
  • 4 Tetris
    Willis beat Tetris using Nintendo’s original game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System. (Pixabay)
  • 5 Tetris
    The first versions of Tetris had their beginnings in Russia. (AP/Mark Lennihan)
  • 1 Tetris k
  • 2 Tetris
  • 3 Tetris
  • 4 Tetris
  • 5 Tetris


You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.

The bad news: You've hit your limit of free articles.
The good news: You can receive full access below.
WORLDkids | Ages 7-10 | $35.88 per year

Already a member? Sign in.

Colorful blocks fall into place. Beep. They fill the screen. Then a full row of them vanishes. Beep. The blocks fall faster. Beep. The screen freezes. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It’s the 1985 Nintendo game sensation, Tetris. Many players considered it unbeatable. But for the first time ever, someone beat it. His name is Willis Gibson. He’s 13 years old.

The triumph didn’t come with victory music. No WINNER! message popped up. Instead, the screen froze in place.

Tetris wasn’t designed to be conquered. One can only win by reaching a “kill screen.” That’s a point at which the game’s code can’t keep up. Instead, it crashes. Basically, it means defeating the game itself.

That’s exactly what Willis did. When the screen froze, he gasped. News outlets around the world published his victory. He dedicated the feat to his dad, who died last year.

Maya Rogers is the CEO of Tetris. She calls Willis’ win “a feat that defies all preconceived limits of this legendary game.”

Gamers pushed Tetris further than its designers imagined. For years, players got stuck on level 29. There, blocks fell faster than the game’s controller could respond! Players invented new ways to use the controller, such as “hypertapping” and “rolling.”

These methods let Tetris players reach previously unseen levels. But as they got deep into the game, glitches added fresh challenge. Only artificial intelligence reached the kill screen. Nobody thought a human could do it. Until now.

Willis reached level 157.

The game’s simplicity drew him in. But beating it? That took determination. “It’s easy to start playing it and understand it. But it’s very difficult to master it,” he told NPR.

Willis encourages other kids to work hard toward their goals. They just might make history.

Why? With determination and perseverance, people can sometimes achieve things most think are impossible.