Stillwater Boy First To Beat Original Version Of Tetris, Dedicates Historic Win To Dad

Willis said before he started his historical game of Tetris, he had already been playing for two hours that day and thought this would just be an ordinary round.

Thursday, January 4th 2024, 10:41 pm

Willis Gibson is a 13-year-old from Stillwater who made history last week when he became the first person to ever beat the original 1988 version of Tetris. After he posted his win on YouTube, he gained international fame.

Willis said before he started his historic game of Tetris, he had already been playing for two hours that day and thought this would just be an ordinary round.

To get to the point where he can master Tetris, he spends a lot of time playing. 

"When I have free time at home, it's normally around 2 to 3 hours a day," Willis said.

That's what it takes to become the number one Tetris player in the world, and when Willis started playing two years ago, he knew he had talent.

"At the beginning, I rose up the ranks pretty quickly, but after a few months, I kind of hit a wall," he said. "But after that basically, I started gaining more improvement."

Last week, he started what he thought was just another game of Tetris until he reached 1300 lines in.

"The colors break, and the game doesn't know what to do," said Willis. "It just starts using random code, turning game code into colors, and so you get some wacky colors, and when you hit those, you're getting close."

That's when Willis became the first human to ever beat the game of Tetris, forcing it to go into what's called a kill screen where the game crashes and reaches a maxed-out score.

"I was still in shock for a little bit. eventually, I understood it, and it was pretty cool once I did," said Willis. 

He is known as "Blue Scuti" in the gamer community. He chose that name after UY Scuti, the biggest star in the sky a few years ago. 

His YouTube video of his historic win has reached more than 1.6 million views. 

"It's crazy. I never expected it to get this popular, I guess," said Willis.

This win wasn't just for him. It was for his dad, who passed away in December.

"He was always very supportive, and yeah, I wanted to dedicate it to him," he said.

Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, congratulated Willis for beating the game. 

Willis competes in Tetris competitions and wants to go to the Philadelphia Qualifiers this year and eventually to Tokyo. 

Last year, he placed 3rd overall in the Classic Tetris World Championship.

"A lot of people were very surprised that a rookie, a 13-year-old made it third, and so that was cool seeing that I shocked everybody," said Gibson.

You can find Willis Gibson at the Frontier Lanes in Stillwater every Saturday. He also loves to ride his bike and rides to school every day; he says it calms him.


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