VIDEO: Classic game ‘Pong’ taken to new heights on Philly’s Cira Centre

Programmers created a version “Pong” to be displayed on Philadelphia’s Cira Centre. Billing it as the “world’s largest video game,” the game is fully playable even though the action takes place on a 29-story office building using the building’s lights.

Drexel computer science professor Frank Lee told Ars Technica that he was inspired to create the giant version after he saw a fully-playable version of Pac-Man created as a Google Doodle back in May 2010. He talked to the Philly Tech Week organizers about his vision, and they agreed to let him make it.

Since the LED lights on the Cira Centre are controlled via a private network and each light had its own IP adress, Lee and his team used their hacking stills to gain control of the system. Then they created a code for the game that would tell which lights to turn on and off using an existing project called kinet.

The game can be played using an X-Arcade Dual Joystick, which is connected via USB to a Mac Book Pro that holds the code for the game. Gamers were selected to try out the game using a lottery system. Giant “Pong” did need some “live hacking” to work out the kinks during the actual game play, but it eventually became an exact replica of the arcade game, albeit on a much grander scale.


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