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Expert Voices

How to Play a 29-Story Game of 'Pong' (Video)

Pong video screenshot

Britt Faulstick is a news officer for technology and engineering at Drexel University. He contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Not long ago, Pong, the classic video game that started America's gaming obsession, came to life on a 29-story Philadelphia skyscraper clad in LEDs. As part of a celebration of technology and innovation in the city, Drexel University's Frank Lee, director of the school's Entrepreneurial Game Studio, turned the face of the Cira Centre office building into a giant digital display.

"This is something I've been envisioning for quite a while," said Lee, an associate professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. "Not only is this something that's just fun for anyone who's ever played a video game, but it's also a uniquely interactive art installation. One of the main goals of this event is to inspire wonder and creativity in anyone who sees it, especially kids."

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Using the patio of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art as the playing area, gamers young and old stepped to an arcade-style controller to battle it out head-to-head on the north wall of the Cira Centre, which was transformed into a 59,800-square-foot screen located a mile and a half away from them.

Lee recruited a team of colleagues to code the giant game, using as pixels the 400 LEDs that help create the Cira Centre’s iconic exterior. The game set a Guinness World Record as the largest architectural videogame display.

See the game in action in this Drexel University video.

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