Drexel professor in talks with Comcast Center to host next video game

Comcast Center. Credit: Wiki Commons
Comcast Center. Credit: Wiki Commons

Yeah, Cira Centre is cool. But they can go bigger.

Drexel professor Frank Lee said Wednesday that he is in talks with Comcast about bringing the “War of Worlds” classic arcade game to the sparkling, USB drive-shaped skyscraper on JFK Boulevard.

“I sort of pitched an idea, and they liked it,” he said.

As a prelude to Philly Tech Week, Drexel University’s Frank Lee will again adapt an arcade game to fit on the facade of the 29-story Cira Centre in University City on April 4. But unlike last year, the game is Tetris, not Pong, and it will occupy both sides of the skyscraper.

Pong, which was the first classic video game conformed to the unique LED-lighted surface of the dark-colored structure, set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Architectural Video Game Display.” This year’s game would double the square-footage, and theoretically, set a new world record.

But for a grander scale, Lee wants to use the digital HD display inside the Comcast Center’s lobby and the the tower’s glimmering glass as part of a recreation of the space-invader arcade classic “War of the Worlds.

“And that’s something that I may pursue with them,” he said, “if they want to do it and if I want to move forward with it.”

Lee, a co-founder of Drexel’s game design program, said the original idea to play a video game on a skyscraper started with Tetris.

“The idea,” he said, “came when I was driving on I-76. It was toward the evening, I saw the sparking lights of the Cira Centre, and in my mind’s eye, I saw Tetris shapes.”

Overall, the idea wasn’t just to make a big game of Tetris — although that’s still cool — but to shake off a generation-wide technological isolation: to tear out earphones and pull heads away from tiny glowing screens.

“This was my effort to bring back a shared moment,” he said.

Now imagine every skyscraper in Philadelphia participating in one giant, grand-scale video game.

“That’s it,” Lee said.

____________________

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.