On Saturday night, a 29-story Philadelphia skyscraper hosted what’s purported to be the “world’s largest game of Tetris,” and likely the world’s largest videogame overall.
A team led by Drexel University computer science professor Frank Lee hacked into the LED lighting system of the Cira Centre building in downtown Philadelphia to create a larger-than-life Tetris game that could be played during the city’s ongoing tech week.
The New York Times spoke with Lee and his team about the project and created a fantastic video report that you can watch here. Unfortunately that video wasn’t available for embed on other sites, but you can also see the game in action in the video embedded above.
Lee told the New York Times:
“People will think of this as a game, but I think of this as a public ornament. Technology has sort of made us isolated from each other. I want us to be with each other, and play with each other.”
This is the second year in a row that Lee’s team has hacked into the more than 1,400 LED lights on the Cira Centre to create large scale versions of classic arcade games. In April 2013, Lee’s team debuted a game of Pong on the skyscraper, and scored the Guinness Record for the world’s largest architectural videogame display. This past weekend’s Tetris game was twice as large in size as the Pong display, so they’re expecting to set another record, Lee told the NYT.
A very big video game is not rocket science or world peace. But sometimes these days it can feel like technology is all about the money, metrics, and “exits.” So it’s nice to see people playing with tech in a more, well, playful way — the same way that likely made them first fall in love with it.