Teen Prodigy From Oklahoma Triumphs Tetris And Sets A Record

Teen Prodigy From Oklahoma Triumphs Tetris And Sets A Record

A 13-year-old from Oklahoma posted a YouTube video where he could be seen screaming in joy and excitement following a riveting session of a Tetris game. His score read 99999, and the screen was frozen. Willis Gibson had managed to advance so far in the popular puzzle game that it had frozen. In the 38 minutes of intense gameplay, Willis, who goes by the streamer name Blue Scuti, had conquered Tetris!

Just a few years back, nobody believed that a human could beat Tetris and reach the “kill screen”- the moment when a game becomes unplayable due to the limitations in its code. The game becomes so fast that keeping track of the falling puzzle pieces is almost impossible. However, Willis’ feat has opened new frontiers as to what players can achieve in online Tetris.

He broke three world records: record for the overall score, level achieved, and total number of lines. Willis, who started playing Tetris competitively just two years back, has become one of the top Tetris professionals in the country. He dedicates this win to his late father.

Tetris, invented by engineer Alexey Pajitnov, was released by the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989. It involves combinations of shapes relentlessly floating down a player’s screen. You aim to keep them from piling up by moving the shapes left or right to form solid horizontal lines that get cleared to make space for the next shapes.

Removing a line also gives you points, which makes the levels harder as you keep playing. The puzzle game quickly became a mass favorite due to its simple rules and competitive nature. According to the Tetris company, it is the best-selling video game ever, with 520 million copies sold.

There are two types of players in the competitive Tetris world. Some try to score the maximum points and outscore others as quickly as possible, while others aim for the crash. The crash is an entirely different approach. Instead of focusing on completing more and more lines, you play as safely as possible. In other words, you play to survive. The more time you spend on the game, the more likely it will reach its saturation point and crash. In the three decades since the game was launched, nobody had crashed the game as Willis did.

Earlier, gamers beat Tetris by hacking into the software. Bots powered by AI were used to complete the game as the pace became overwhelming after a point. Level 29 was believed to be the limit for years, after which the pieces fell too fast for a human mind to comprehend. Willis finished on level 157. He leads a new generation of players who have crossed the boundaries of imagination.

A few years back, the hyper-tapping method was popular for moving the pieces quickly in Tetris. During the game, Willis used the rolling technique, which allows players to roll the NES controller between their hands and hit the directional pad up to 20 times per second. Willis uses RetroN, a version of the Nintendo console his mother bought from a pawnshop. It uses the same hardware as the original Nintendo console.

Unlike his peers, he prefers to play on a cathode-ray tube TV. He does his school work and helps with the chores while managing to play Tetris 20 hours a week. Willis was intrigued by the fast-paced puzzle game after watching live streams on YouTube. He has won several regional tournaments and aims to win the coveted Classic Tetris World Championship with all his accumulated skills.

Vince Clemente, the president of the Classic Tetris World Championship, was all praises for the teen champion. “This is unbelievable. It’s never been done by a human before,” Clemente quoted. The game was designed never to end and test the limits of the players. However, players like Willis Gibson always set new standards and challenge the world to aim higher. It would be interesting to see which records are next in line.

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