World’s Strangest

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Tetris World Grand Master

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):

Post Metadata

May 1st, 2012

Stranger to the World


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