In a recent segment on Sky News, 13-year-old Tetris record holder Willis Gibson found himself at the center of controversy when presenter Jayne Secker downplayed his historic achievement. Despite the gaming community's excitement over Gibson's remarkable success, Secker mockingly suggested that finishing Tetris was not a meaningful life goal and advised the young gamer to step away from the screen and get some fresh air.
Secker's comments sparked outrage among gaming enthusiasts, who argued that competitive gaming requires a level of skill, concentration and dedication similar to traditional sports. The players claim that the presenter lives in the past and has not yet made an update for the 21st century.
In the same show, a 16-year-old darts player made a name for himself by qualifying for the World Championship, although he did not emerge victorious. The anchor's unequal treatment of these two achievements has caused outrage within the gaming community.
The presenter mockingly belittled the boy's success in Tetris on several occasions, while she was very pleasant and respected the boy in darts. Competitive Tetris at the highest level requires physical effort, intense concentration and precise motor skills.
Gamers often use specific techniques, such as finger vibrations and controller tapping, to improve their speed and competitiveness. Unlike darts players who enjoy taking breaks between throws, Tetris players must maintain their focus for long periods of time.
Given that there is no material or video evidence that anyone has finished the Tetris game so far, even though the game is 40 years old, the success of this 13-year-old boy is equal to winning gold at the Olympics and deserves respect.
Tetris, but also school and obligations
Responding to criticism, Gibson's mother expressed support for her son's passion for video games in an interview with The New York Times. She stated that as long as Gibson fulfills his other obligations, she has no problem with him devoting time to Tetris.
This perspective challenges the stereotype that video games are just a pastime, nowadays they are much more, and thus there are world championships in video games with huge prizes, but the presenter seems to be unaware of this fact.
Also this year, it was announced that eSports will officially be a discipline at the 2026 Olympic Games. As the gaming community continues to grow and eSports evolve, it's crucial to recognize and honor the achievements of players like Willis Gibson, who have proven that mastering games like Tetris requires a level of skill and dedication comparable to traditional sports.
It is the Year of Our Lord 2024 and @SkyNews is still telling people who play video games to go outside and get some fresh air, notably on the same day they’re praising a 16-year-old darts player pic.twitter.com/QoPpWGQ0fr — Chris Scullion (@scully1888) January 4, 2024