This is not the first time the famous game Tetris was played on the face of a building. In 2000, students from Brown University converted their Sciences Library building into a game board. In 2012 the 21-storey Green building in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology served as the canvass for the addictive game.
Last Saturday, another structure served as the screen for the well-loved video game. Hundreds of Tetris fans were in for a treat: competitors played the large version of the building blocks game on the façade of the 29-storey Cira Centre.
1400 LED lights were embedded in the glass exterior of the skyscraper located in Philadelphia. Players, who were chosen through a lottery, arranged giant geometric shapes using joysticks on the 100,000 square foot screen. The north and south sides of the tower were utilized in this project, giving it the potential to be the world’s largest Tetris game.
The classic puzzle game display is the kick-off for Philly Tech Week, a set of events to celebrate technology and innovation. It also happens to be a celebration of the 30th birthday of Tetris.
The massive Tetris display was the work of Frank Lee, who holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest architectural video game when he used the same edifice last year as a game board to the video game Pong.
Lee, an associate professor of digital media at Drexel University, surpassed himself this time because the giant screen for Tetris is twice as big as the Pong game board.
“This project began as a personal love letter to the games that I loved when I was a child – Pong last year, Tetris this year. But it ended up as a way of uniting the city of Philadelphia,” added Lee.
Thousands of residents and onlookers watched competitors battle on the giant Tetris game. Joining the festivities was Henk Rogers, managing director of The Tetris Company in Hawaii.
In an interview by GamesBeat Rogers said: “It’s humongous. I love it. I’ve been playing around with a giant Tetris at Burning Man for the last seven years. This is an order of magnitude bigger.”
Tetris has been an icon of popular culture. It was designed and created by Alexey Pajitnov in the Soviet Union and was released in 1984. Since then billions of people have played matches and it is considered one of the most-downloaded game of all time. Compared to other paid video games, Tetris remains to be a favorite of several generations of game aficionados and enthusiasts.