Tetris in the sky: Gamers play on Philly building (Update)

April 5, 2014 by Kathy Matheson
The classic video game Tetris is played on the 29-story Cira Centre in Philadelphia, Saturday, April 5, 2014, using hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. The spectacle kicks off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week and also celebrates the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

A skyscraper-sized version of the classic video game Tetris in Philadelphia created a spectacle that organizers hope inspired onlookers and players to think about the possibilities of technology.

The 29-story Cira Centre has hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade and provided a 100,000-square-foot "screen" for the gamers on Saturday. Competitors used joysticks to maneuver Images of supersized shapes that "fell" on the tower.

The marvel kicked off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week. It also celebrates the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris, a game loved for its elegance and simplicity.

Game designer Frank Lee says that putting Tetris on a building was like making a huge virtual campfire. The associate professor of digital media at Drexel University called it a way to unite the city.

The classic video game Tetris is played on the 29-story Cira Centre in Philadelphia, Saturday April 5, 2014, using hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. The spectacle kicks off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week and also celebrates the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)


Frank Lee, right, a Drexel University game-design professor, and game designer Henk Rogers, center, play the classic video game Tetris on the 29-story Cira Centre in Philadelphia, Saturday, April 5, 2014, using hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. The spectacle kicks off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week and also celebrates the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

Frank Lee, right, a Drexel University game-design professor, and game designer Henk Rogers play the classic video game Tetris on the 29-story Cira Centre in Philadelphia, Saturday April 5, 2014, using hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. The spectacle kicks off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week and also celebrates the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

The classic video game Tetris is played on the 29-story Cira Centre in Philadelphia, Saturday, April 5, 2014, using hundreds of LED lights embedded in its glass facade. The spectacle kicks off a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week and also celebrates the upcoming 30th anniversary of Tetris. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

Explore further: Tetris passes 100 million paid mobile downloads

Related Stories

Philadelphia gets ready to play 'Pong' on building (Update)

April 4, 2013

Philadelphia is getting ready for a supersized game of "Pong"—on the side of a skyscraper. The classic Atari video game will be re-created later this month on the facade of the 29-story Cira Centre, where hundreds of embedded ...

Recommended for you

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers'

July 28, 2015

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center have discovered that virtually any cellphone infected with a malicious code can use GSM phone frequencies to steal critical information ...

Tech leaders warn over 'killer robots' (Update)

July 28, 2015

A group of top tech leaders, including British scientist Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, on Tuesday issued a stern warning against the development of so-called killer robots.

Where is solar power headed?

July 22, 2015

Most experts agree that to have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.