PHILADELPHIA – A skyscraper-sized game of “Pong” got underway without a hitch Friday night, under starry skies and not rainclouds that were in the forecast.
Hundreds of people turned out to watch the classic Atari video game played on the facade of a mirrored, 29-story skyscraper. Hundreds of built-in LED lights embedded in the north face of the Cira Centre replicated the familiar paddles and ball with gamers controlling giant, table-mounted joysticks across the Schuylkill River from the building.
Frank Lee, a Drexel University game-design professor behind the concept, was among the players young and old who tried their hand at the mega-sized video game.
It just might be the world’s largest “Pong” game, being played Friday and Wednesday to bookend Philly Tech Week, an annual series of events, seminars and workshops spotlighting the city’s technology and innovation communities.
The 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.