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
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…