What better way to celebrate Tetris' 30th birthday than to play the iconic 1980s game on the side of a 29-storey building in Philadelphia?
That's exactly what hundreds of Philadelphians got to do last week as part of a citywide series of events called Philly Tech Week. They played Tetris on the side of the Cira Center in downtown Philadelphia.
Thousands of LED lights embedded in the building's glass windows allowed the supersized Tetris game to be played on the north and south faces of the tower. The playing screen had a size of 100,000 square feet, which is probably a record for a Tetris game. Tetris has been played on the sides of a building before.
Players used joysticks to maneuver the falling bricks, creating a spectacle against the night sky organizers hoped inspired people to think about the possibilities of technology. For the young guys out there, Tetris challenges players to rotate and arrange falling shapes into complete rows.
Frank Lee, an associate professor of digital media at Drexel University and a game designer, oversaw the creation of the giant display on which the game was played.
"This project began as a personal love letter to the games that I loved when I was a child - Pong last year, Tetris this year. But it ended up as a way of uniting the city of Philadelphia," Lee said.
Lee already holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest architectural videogame display for playing Pong on one side of the Cira Center last year.
Tetris was created by Russian computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. It became a worldwide hit when it became one of the games on Nintendo's original Game Boy.
Several new Tetris products and initiatives are planned for release around its June 6 anniversary.