Tetris Game on Philadelphia Skyscraper Breaks World Record

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of Tetris fans got to play a super-sized version of the popular interlocking shapes game in Philadelphia in April. (Published Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014)

    All the pieces have fallen into place for the designer of a giant Tetris game.

    Drexel University professor Frank Lee has earned the Guinness World Record for largest architectural video game display.

    Again.

    Lee and two colleagues created a computer program to play the classic shape-fitting puzzle on two sides of a 29-story skyscraper in Philadelphia.

    They used hundreds of lights embedded in the glass facades of the Cira Centre. All told, the "screens" totaled nearly 120,000 square feet (11,000 square meters).

    "More so than breaking a record, my goal with this project was to unite the people of the city of Philadelphia around a public art installation -- to give them a shared experience and inspire them to think about how a building can be more than just a building and, by extension, how the city can be much more than just a bunch of buildings and people sharing the same space," Lee said in a statement.

    More than 2,500 people turned out in early April to watch the Tetris competition as dozens of Tetris enthusiasts played the supersized version using a joystick from about a mile away. Hank Rogers, the managing director of The Tetris Company, was among the players.

    "Watching Tetris come to life on the Cira Centre was a dream come true for me and hundreds of millions of Tetris players," said Rogers, who also congratulated Lee and his team for pulling off a record-setting feat.

    As it turns out, Lee beat his own record set last year when he recreated the classic Atari game Pong on a single side of the same building.

    "I'm delighted that we were able to earn this recognition once again."