"Pong" is the game that started it all, and it's about to come to life in a whole new way. On the evening of April 19th, the 83,360 square-foot, north-facing wall of Philadelphia's Cira Centre will be transformed into a massive, functional version of the classic arcade game, kicking off the third annual Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T from April 20-27th.
Dr. Frank Lee, a teaching professor in Drexel University's College of Engineering and co-founder of the Drexel Game Design Program, is the man behind the event. He'll be turning the building into his own personal game console thanks 1,514 LEDs lights that were installed on the building during its construction in 2005. He's also getting some help from Technically Philly (who founded Philly Tech Week), Brandywine Realty Trust, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Knight Foundation.
"This is something I’ve been envisioning for quite a while," Lee said. "Not only is this something that’s just fun for anyone who’s ever played a video game, but it’s also a uniquely interactive art installation. One of the main goals of this event is to inspire wonder and creativity in anyone who sees it, especially kids."
The community "Pong" tournament begins at 8pm on April 19th, with the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum serving as the living room. Players will stand with joysticks in hand as they play on the massive display positioned 401 feet above Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.
"We are delighted to partner with Drexel University on this project and participate in Philly Tech Week," said Gerard H. Sweeney, President and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust. "This is the first time we've had an interactive light display at Cira and we hope that the event will inspire the imagination and creativity of our growing technology community in Philadelphia."
Unfortuantely, not everyone is going to get a chance to play the oversized "Pong" game, but those hoping to get a chance can register at Ph.ly/pong before Friday, April 12 at 5 pm. The few who are chosen, along with those who find a "Golden Ticket" at the Tech Week Preview event and a select group of students, will be alerted before Wednesday, April 17.
A separate "Pong" event will be held on April 24th at 8 pm, once again on the Art Museum steps. For more information about that, head over to PhillyTechWeek.com.