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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 4, April 2014, Posted On: 4/7/2014

Tetris Goes Big In Philadelphia To Celebrate 30th Anniversary

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: video game stunt, giant Tetris game, Cira Centre. Tetris, Arcade@The Oval, Philly Tech Week, Frank Lee

PHILADELPHIA -- Tetris was big in the 1980s, but it became really big on April 5 when gaming fans got the chance to play a jumbo-size version on the side of Philadelphia's Cira Centre. Tetris stunt was part of a promotion called Arcade@The Oval, which helped kick off Philly Tech Week.

To create the game, programmers reprogrammed the 1,400 LED ornamental lights embedded into the glass façade of the 29-story, 437-ft. office tower in the University City district. Players preregistered to play the classic video on the 100,000-sq.ft. screen on the north and south faces of the building. They test their Tetris skills using standard joysticks.

The enormous game was the brainchild of Frank Lee, an associate professor of digital media at Drexel University. His game coincided with the 30th anniversary of Tetrus. This was not Lee's first foray into enormous games. Last year he created a Pong game on the side of the Cira Tower, a feat that earned him a Guinness World Record for the largest architectural videogame. Because this year's game is twice as large as last year's effort, Lee and his team are expecting to set another record.

Topic: Music and Games Features

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