It’s an event in the world of video games. After obsessing entire generations of gamers for forty years, the game Tetris finally found someone stronger than him: a 13-year-old American teenager.

On December 21, 2023, Willis Gibson became the first human to reach the end of this great Nintendo classic, where the player must fit together blocks that fall more and more quickly, to form complete lines and make them disappear. The feat had until now only been accomplished by artificial intelligence.

In principle, this highly addictive puzzle game, developed by a Soviet engineer, doesn’t really have an end: when the machine can no longer keep up, the screen suddenly freezes. This is what happened to the teenager, aka “Blue Scuti”, when he reached level 157, after thirty-eight minutes of effort.

“Oh my God,” the young man exclaims when the game stops, in a video of his game posted on YouTube. “I can’t feel my fingers anymore,” he breathes, overwhelmed by emotion.

“This has never been done by a human before,” the president of the Tetris World Championship, Vince Clemente, told the New York Times. “It’s something that everyone thought was impossible until a few years ago. »

A new technique for using the controller

For a long time, level 29 was considered the limit of Tetris, when the game becomes so fast that humans can no longer react quickly enough. But in recent years, a new generation of gamers has pushed the boundaries of what is possible by adopting the “rolling” technique, which reinvents the way to use the NES console controller: it allows you to use all the fingers rather than just one or two and dramatically increase the frequency of pressures.

Originally from Oklahoma, Willis Gibson used this process to establish his record, a few months before the 40th anniversary of the game, released in June 1984. A feat widely praised within the “gaming” community.

The general director of Tetris, Maya Rogers, also congratulated the young player. “Congratulations to “Blue Scuti” for this extraordinary achievement, which defies all the preconceived limits of this legendary game,” she commented in a press release sent to the site