Play Pong on the Side of a Skyscraper

By Luke Y. Thompson in Nerdery, Video Games
Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

giantpong.jpg

Noticing the lights on the side of Philadelphia's Cira Centre one night, Drexel College of Engineeering professor Frank Lee had the kind of thought only one of us would...wouldn't it be cool to turn them into a giant video game?

But rather then smoking a lot of weed and squinting at the display until it vaguely resembled Missile Command, he actually went out and got the permissions to make it happen. Now, on the 401-foot north wall, people will be able to play Pong using controllers half a mile away.

On April 19 and April 24 Philadelphians young and old will have the chance to grab the arcade-style joystick one more time and engage in that timeless quest to spin the bouncing ball past the opponent's paddle - writ large on the 401-foot north wall of one of the iconic buildings of Philadelphia's skyline. More than 500 of the 1,514 LEDs affixed to Cira Centre's shadowbox spandrels will recreate the game's classic pixilation as competitors will go elbow-to-elbow from a vantage point across the Schuylkill River on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

If you're going to be in the Philadelphia area on those dates, you can sign up now for your chance to be a player.

So how come my college professors only wanted to read boring books and crap like that for fun? Treasure this man, Philly.


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