How Tetris Reveals the Stunning Power of the Human Brain

A Tetris prodigy quietly smashed a record already considered ‘the greatest achievement in gaming history’ - you won't believe your eyes.

Jon Miltimore | March 31, 2016 | 751

A Tetris prodigy quietly smashed a record already considered ‘the greatest achievement in gaming history’ - you won't believe your eyes.
How Tetris Reveals the Stunning Power of the Human Brain

We know the human brain is more complex than the world’s most powerful computers. The most recent attempt to use a supercomputer to simulate the activity of a human brain showed that it took 40 minutes to process the data of a single second of brainwaves.

Still, it’s often difficult to see the amazing powers of the brain. We see the products yielded by brainpower—the machines we build, the art we create, the formulas we crunch—but those do little to illustrate our brain’s capabilities in a visual sense.

Similarly, we can watch arguably the greatest chess champion in history defeat a supercomputer, but it’s hard for most of us to grasp the virtually infinite number of moves and outcomes players must process and consider while on a clock.

Perhaps the best visual demonstration of the brain’s superhuman-like power can be found in the Tetris games of a Japanese player known as Keroco.

As a point of background, Tetris is video game that requires gamers to quickly arrange puzzle-like pieces in as efficient a manner as possible. It’s one of the most popular video games in the world and has developed a cult-like following. People spend their entire lives striving for perfection and face off annually in world a Tetris World Championship.

A few years ago, Keroco set a new world record in the Tetris sprint (or line race), which involves seeing how fast a player can accumulate 40 lines. Keroco ripped off 40 lines in less than 19.68 seconds, breaking the 20-second mark for the first time in history (as context, the 40-second mark was considered a top score only a few years earlier, according to Tetris gurus).

The clip, which showed Tetris pieces falling faster than the eye can follow, was posted on Reddit and soon went viral. World Tetris champion Ben Mullen told blogger Chris Higgins the feat was possibly “the greatest achievement in gaming history.”  

Keroco, however, was not done. Less than a year ago, the player crushed the 19.68-second mark, posting an 18.95-second time. It’s almost too much to believe.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch the clip below and bear in mind that the video runs in real time; it has not been sped up (evidenced by the running clock on the screen). 

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Jon Miltimore is the Senior Editor of Intellectual Takeout.  He is the former Senior Editor of The History Channel Magazine and a former Managing Editor at Scout Media.

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter



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