The state of Philadelphia had kicked off its annual Philly Tech Week and as a part of the same; a game of Tetris was arranged. However, the classic game was played on a 29-storied high-rise.
Hundreds of fans played the classic video game on the 29-story Cira Centre high-rise building in downtown Philadelphia Saturday, possibly setting a world record in the process, reported Mashable. The game was organized on a Saturday night as a premature celebration of the game’s 30 year anniversary. Invented by Russian computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris celebrates its 30 Year Anniversary in June this year. However, the game became massively popular after it was introduced on Nintendo’s Game Boy in the late 1980s by game designer Henk Rogers.
It was a visual treat to watch the game’s graphics or ‘blocks’ cascading down from the 437–foot building. Technicians had managed to turn the Cira Centre’s north and south sides into a 100,000-square-foot game–screen, while players controlled the much larger than life pieces with classic joysticks, found commonly on Game Boys, on which Tetris debuted about 30 years back. The players were actually winners of a lottery held earlier. There were two game modes in which players either played against each and there was even a collaborative mode that allowed players to play in teams.
This year’s game of Tetris, follows a record-breaking game of Pong played on the same building last year, shared Frank Lee, an associate professor at Drexel University, “This project began as a personal love letter to the games that I loved as a child — Pong last year, Tetris this year. But, it ended up as a way of uniting the city of Philadelphia.” Frank was the chief project manager who organized the massive game of Tetris, reported Associated Press.
Deploying the game wasn’t easy, but fortunately, the Cira Centre is perhaps built for the visual amusement of the citizens of Philadelphia and its tourists. The building is outlined with thousands of weather resistant LEDs that can be controlled by a computer housed on the premises. Programmers have to enter the relevant lines of codes and the LED array then displays the patterns accordingly. In the case of Tetris or Pong, Frank had to write a dynamic set of instructions that changed every time the ‘player’ pressed keys on the joystick. Certainly not an easy task to be executed, on such a massive scale.
[Image Credit | Philly]