Pong! Cira Centre Game Officially a Record

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Philadelphia skyscraper will be added to the Guiness Book of World Records, after Guiness confirmed that the largest architectural video display was conducted via a giant game of Pong played on the side of the building. (Published Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013)

    New York might have the tallest building in America but Philly has its own record-breaking skyscraper, sort of.

    A college professor who played a supersized video game on the side of a Philadelphia skyscraper now holds a Guinness world record for the feat.

    Drexel University professor Frank Lee recreated the classic Atari game Pong on the 29-story Cira Centre last spring.

    The building essentially became a 60,000-square-foot screen as hundreds of embedded LED lights replicated the familiar ball and paddles, which were controlled by a joystick about a mile away.

    Drexel officials learned on Friday the project earned Lee the Guinness World Records mark for largest architectural video game display.

    Other gaming enthusiasts got to share in the fun in April. Players also tried out giant versions of Space Invaders and Tetris.

    "Pong is a cultural icon, cultural milestone," said Lee before the Philly Tech Week event.

    Pong, a black-and-white arcade game introduced in 1972, had no complicated graphics, just geometric shapes. Players controlled digital paddles and tried to hit the ball so their opponents could not return it. A home version paved the way for the game console industry.

    "This is my love letter to the wonders of technology as seen through the eyes of my childhood."

     


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