Are you ready for a pinch of nostalgia? Tetris, the classic falling block game many of us grew up playing on Game Boys and home computers, is turning 30 this year. And to commemorate the popular puzzle’s three-decade-long run, hundreds of Tetris fans gathered around a 29-story skyscraper in Philadelphia to play what is probably the largest version of the game ever attempted.
On Saturday, the Cira Centre building’s glass façade was studded with hundreds of LED lights to become a 100,000-square-foot Tetris screen. According to the Associated Press, competitors used joysticks to control oversized shapes that fell on two sides of the Philadelphia skyscraper.
"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," Frank Lee, an associate professor of digital media at Drexel University and the game designer who oversaw the creation of the giant Tetris game, told the crowd that had gathered.
Lee’s previous accolades include overseeing the building of the world’s largest architectural Pong game in 2013. The Cira Centre served as the backdrop for Lee’s Pong game as well.
Saturday’s Tetris tournament kicked off Philadelphia Tech Week.
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Tetris was developed in the early 1980s by Russian computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov. It was released on June 6, 1984 and was later acquired by Nintendo and created for Game Boy.
Check out photos and video from the giant Tetris game in Philadelphia below:
— Hamilton Spectator (@TheSpec) April 6, 2014
— GroundZero Gaming (@GroundzeroNg) April 6, 2014