Tetris World Grand Master

To say that Kevin Birrell loves to play Tetris is an understatement. He has spent more than 1,000 hours playing what others tell him is "just a game."

You can find dedication in all kinds of places. The office. The football field.

The glossy, old-school arcade tucked in the back of Ballard’s Full Tilt Ice Cream.

Eighteen-year-old Kevin Birrell is here most every night. The University of Washington freshman is one of just 5 people — 2 outside Japan — to have achieved the World Grand Master title in Tetris: The Grand Master 3, the latest and toughest game in the 28-year-old franchise’s most challenging series.

Birrell, who will reprise a talk he gave at last week’s TEDxUofW at the next Seattle Startup Weekend in May, guesses he’s played more than 1,000 hours of what people like to tell him is “just a game.” But the fun of Tetris, like the other arcade games he’s conquered, isn’t in the play. It’s in a hungry, stop-at-nothing quest for achievement.

Mónica Guzmán of GeekWire has the story (and a video clip of Kevin playing Tetris, at a level that can only be described as inhuman): Link


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1,000 hours on a video game is so insignificant as to be completely unmentionable. Pros play this much in six months, or less. A casual gamer can rack up 600 hours in 6 months, playing just a couple hours a day.
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1000? Some of us have been playing quake 3 for, conservatively, 3,000 hours since it came out in the late 90s. And we still suck lol.
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