Your taxes at play: Government building transformed into enormous LED Tetris game

People can and will argue unendingly about how governments should spend their citizens’ money. One idea we could absolutely get on board with? Turning sprawling government buildings into giant makeshift gaming monitors.

That’s what recently happened in Israel, where last week a giant Tetris tournament was held on the side of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality building — designed to mark the upcoming DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, scheduled for later this month.

“Last year we installed 480 LED lights, which created a 3,000 square meter screen,” Mira Marcus, international press director for Tel Aviv Global, told Digital Trends. “For the last few months we have used the screen for advertising matters — as an example, we lit it up with a huge rainbow flag during Pride Week. A few weeks ago, we decided to transform the municipality into a gaming screen. Gil Teichman, an Israeli lighting expert, was involved in the process. We placed two huge joysticks at Rabin Square and invited residents and visitors to play against each other.”

The event was enormously successful, with a long line of gamers queuing up to play until midnight.

Other titles playable on the building-sized screen include Snake, the game popularized by Nokia cellphones in the 1990s, and the first-ever sports arcade game, Pong. “We chose Tetris, Snake, and Pong as games that are familiar to the wide public, easy to play, and the screen has the technical capability to display,” Marcus said.

And don’t be sad if you’re planning a trip to Israel but are afraid of missing the Tetris tournament. The giant screen will be made available every Thursday evening after dark for the public to play and enjoy.

Now we just need to start an online petition to persuade our own government to bring a similar innovation over here. We can’t imagine they’ll be a shortage of signatures.


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