A Sky News presenter has provoked the wrath of video game enthusiasts after appearing to sneer at the accomplishment of a 13-year-old Tetris record breaker.
Willis Gibson, a teenager from the US state of Oklahoma, was recently acknowledged as the first person to ‘beat’ the original Tetris game on the Nintendo (NES) console by reaching its ‘kill screen’. At this point, the famous colored blocks were no longer falling and the game had been completed.
As reported by Video Games Chronicle, Gibson’s stunned reaction went viral after footage from his live broadcast was shared but media coverage of the boy’s achievement led to a broadcaster telling him to “go outside”.
The outspoken remark came from Jayne Secker, a 51-year-old journalist from UK-based, Sky News.
Covering the story during a live segment on Thursday 4 January, Secker appeared to veer from her script to offer a personal opinion with the comment, “As a mother, I would just say step away from the screen, go outside, get some fresh air. Beating Tetris is not a life goal.”
‘Bonkers’ industry backlash
The clip from Sky News was picked up on social media shortly after it was aired, with an unsurprising frosty response from many enthusiasts, including representatives from the video game industry.
As you can see below, Bhavina Bharkanda, Head of Communications and Campaigns for the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) was unequivocal in her response to Secker.
What’s bonkers about how this has been covered is if it was, say a child chess champion, we’d all be celebrating – they’d even be invited to Downing Street to play chess https://t.co/JGmK7NgOvl
— Bhavina Bharkhada (@Bhavina_B) January 4, 2024
Jimmy Bowers, community manager for video game company Sumo Digital, stated on his X account “As a Dad, I can safely tell you if Kit beat an unbeatable game and set a world record at 13 I’d be incredibly proud.”
“That comment was so outdated and in such poor taste to basically punch down on a child I’m almost lost for words.”
The tone of the Sky News presenter’s comments and what appeared to be a dismissive attitude toward the accomplishment is what has irked so many people.
However, as evidenced by his euphoric live reaction to the kill screen, Willis Gibson is basking in the delight of his Tetris triumph and rightly so. The youngster appears unlikely to be fazed by this particular critic.
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