(CNN) — A 13-year-old boy from Oklahoma finally seems to have done the near-impossible: He beat Tetris.
Willis Gibson is believed to be the first human player to reach level 157, nearly 40 years after the release of the classic video game.
“I’m going to pass out, I can’t feel my fingers,” Gibson said in a video posted to YouTube on Tuesday after his stunt crashed the game.
“When I started playing this game, I never expected this game to crash or crash,” Gibson wrote in the video description.
Gibson’s 38-minute viral video of the game, posted under his username “Blue Scooty,” is the latest episode in a trend to fuel nostalgia for the addictive and long-running game created by Soviet engineers in 1984 and popularized on the Nintendo Entertainment System. .
To date, over 200 official Tetris variants have been released on at least 70 systems, a world record according to Guinness World Records. The mobile version, developed by Electronic Arts and released in 2006, has sold 100 million times, making it the third best-selling video game of all time, Hewlett Packard reported last year.
The creator himself has said that he was immediately hooked after making the game.
“I couldn’t help but play this prototype version, because putting the shapes together was so addictive,” Alexey Pajitnov told CNN in 2019.
After its creation, Tetris spread rapidly and had such lasting power. That his early Cold War-era story was turned into a movie in March for Apple TV+.
“It stuck us in an almost primitive state,” said Victor Lucas, the gaming expert behind the television series Electric Playground. Frankly, it surpasses video games like checkers or chess. It’s one of those gaming experiences.” Juggernaut can be instantly understood and eternally consumed by any human being.
The game is simple: manipulate and join blocks that come in different ways to form solid rows. As the level goes up, the blocks decrease rapidly.
While other video games today offer plots, hundreds of characters, cinema-like scenes and even live concerts by Travis Scott, some experts say Tetris’ simplicity has kept it popular for decades.
Although Tetris has remained the same for decades, the way it is played has evolved. Until 2011, players believed that level 29 was the highest possible because that level represented the fastest pace in the game.
“It’s so well designed and so appealing to so many generations of gamers that people are literally looking for new feats to accomplish, scores to beat, and challenges,” video game expert and consultant Scott Steinberg told CNN. New challenges that teachers also find difficult to address.
Tetris’ staying power stems from both the game’s simplicity and its difficulty.
Once the level 29 barrier was broken, players began reaching higher and higher levels in tournaments such as the Classic Tetris World Championship with techniques including “hypertapping” and “rolling”.
Gibson, 13, from Oklahoma, finished third at the 2023 world championships. And while Gibson is a record-breaking human player, the AI playing Tetris reached level 236 in 2021 by tampering with the game’s parameters.
Even in an age where few video games cost “as much as many Hollywood movies and look as good,” there’s still something to be said for a game that’s simple, elegant, incredibly accessible, and fun for gamers of any skill level, age. . Or the background,” Scott Steinberg told CNN. “Sometimes simple is better and the best games really stand the test of time.”