Pong on a skyscraper – Philadelphia set to supersize the classic game

pong

[Update: Here’s Pong on a skyscraper!]

Pong – the Atari game that marked the start of the video game era when it first appeared in all its minimalist glory back in the early 1970s – is coming to Philadelphia in a big way this month.

To open and close the city’s Philly Tech Week, Drexel University Gaming Professor Dr. Frank Lee is set to host a Pong tournament using the grid of LED lights covering the north face of the 29-story, 437-foot-tall Cira Centre building, making it quite possibly the largest video game screen on the planet. Pong_PosterLee and his team have developed special software to control the lights to make Pong-on-a-skyscraper possible.

Tournament sessions will start at 8pm on April 19 and 24, with gamers located across the river using regular controllers to move the paddles. City residents and visitors are invited to enjoy the (somewhat gentle) action from the steps of the nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Lee said he’s been thinking about how to get a game of Pong onto a skyscraper for the past five years.

“The idea for the project came to me when I was driving down I-76,” Lee explained in a video (below) about the project. “As the sun was going down, I saw the sparkly lights at the Cira Centre. In my mind, I saw Tetris shapes falling down. That was the genesis of trying to create a game using the Cira Centre lights.

“This idea has been living in my mind for such a long time that to see it actually out on the building is fantastic,” Lee said.

He added, “April 19 will be dedicated to Pong – a game that not just people in the gaming community know, but [one] that everyone knows. It’s a cultural milestone.”

If you’re going to be in the area on game days and fancy a go at controlling one of the giant paddles, throw your name in the hat here before April 19 (Friday). Winners will be notified by April 17.

[Main image: Wiki]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.
Emerging Tech

Chilean telescope uncovers one of the oldest star clusters in the galaxy

An ultra-high definition image captured by the Gemini South telescope in Chile has uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way. The cluster, called HP 1, could give clues to how our galaxy was formed billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover giant chimneys spewing energy from the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have discovered two exhaust channels which are funneling matter and energy away from the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy and out towards the edges of the galaxy, dubbed galactic center chimneys.
Emerging Tech

A milestone in the history of particle physics: Why does matter exist?

If matter and antimatter were both produced in equal amounts by the Big Bang, why is there so much matter around us and so little antimatter? A new experiment from CERN may hold the answer to this decades-long puzzle.
Emerging Tech

Dublin Airport has a novel idea for tackling rogue drones

There are a growing number of technology-based solutions for dealing with rogue drones flying near airports, but officials at Dublin Airport have come up with another idea for keeping the skies safe.
Emerging Tech

This sleek new exoskeleton makes walking easier, fits under your clothes

A new ankle exoskeleton that is designed to be worn under clothes can help people to walk without fatiguing — and without restricting natural motion or drawing attention to itself.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s latest breakthrough could make DNA-based data centers possible

Could tomorrow's data centers possibly store information in the form of synthetic DNA? Researchers from Microsoft have successfully encoded the word "hello" into DNA and then back again.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Emerging Tech

Google’s Street View is mapping Earth’s most Mars-like terrain

Devon Island is a remote location in Canada's Arctic that's said to be the most Mars-like place on Earth. Street View recently visited the island to map the terrain and meet some of the scientists working there.